McKay lifts No. 8 Hall over Severn

January 25, 1995|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

Everything seemed right for Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference leader Calvert Hall to be upset by visiting Severn yesterday, but senior John McKay made sure it didn't happen.

McKay scored 32 points, including seven of 13 shots from three-point range, and sank two free throws with 31 seconds left to give the No. 8 Cardinals (15-4, 7-0 in the conference) a 69-68 victory over the No. 15 Admirals (13-6, 5-4).

"We just beat a very good team," said Cardinals coach Mark Amatucci. "I was very concerned about the match-ups coming in, they beat us last year right here.

"And I was concerned about our guys looking ahead to the Charm City Classic Friday and our game with Oak Hill [Academy of Virginia, ranked No. 1 in the nation], plus, we usually play our games at 7, but because of the travel, Severn asked to play us at 5:15 p.m. Yeah, I was worried about this game."

Amatucci's main concern was Severn's quickness.

"They play five guards and our game is trapping you half and full court and pushing the ball up in transition," said Amatucci. "Overall, they may be quicker than we are and their forwards, who are really guards, are much quicker.

"It ended up being the same kind of game we had with them last year."

McKay, who had 19 of his points in the second half, remembered last year's outcome well.

"We had them by 14 late in the game and they beat us in overtime because they are so quick," said McKay. "When they got up on us by 10 in the third period, we started thinking about last year and didn't want it to happen again."

Severn trailed most of the first half, before forcing four second-period ties. The last tie left the two teams at 37 at halftime.

Alhamisi Sims then scored eight of his 19 points to give Severn a 49-39 lead with 4:40 to go in the third period.

The Severn quickness showed in the 12-0 run to open the third after Sam Anyan had started things with a Calvert Hall basket. Jay Lonnie Booth (16 points, 7-for-7 from the field) had two assists and a steal in the run, but he, Sims and freshman Dennard Melton (13 points) got into foul trouble.

"We started the fourth period with four fouls each on Misi [Sims], Dennard and Jay Lonnie, and [John] Vereen had three," said Severn coach Wayne Fowler. Vereen finished with 14 points.

Calvert Hall out-rebounded Severn, 20-8 in the second half, with the 6-foot-6 Anyan (15 points) grabbing seven offensive rebounds. Controlling the game inside along with Tavar Witherspoon (six points, nine rebounds), Anyan scored eight points in the final period.

McKay kept the Cardinals in the game with 11 points in the third period. Severn's lead was 55-48 after McKay's second three of the period.

McKay hit back-to-back threes to open the final period and suddenly it was Severn clinging to a 57-55 lead. Greg Patchak's free throw cut it to 57-56 and a put-back by Anyan came after two from the line by Vereen to make it 59-58.

Anyan's bucket with 5:11 left gave the Cardinals their first lead of the second half, 60-59, and they never trailed again.

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