No. 2 Calvert Hall falls to Goretti, 50-46 Cold Cardinals shoot 29 percent from field

January 17, 1996|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The disgust on Mark Amatucci's face just about said it all. And what it failed to express, the Calvert Hall coach communicated in no uncertain terms.

"We stunk," said Amatucci, after his second-ranked team's 50-46 loss last night to Catholic League rival St. Maria Goretti.

"As good as we've been against Gibbons and some other teams, we were horrible tonight."

Calvert Hall (12-3 overall, 2-1 in the league) shot just 29 percent from the field against the Hagerstown team's collapsing zone and sent the Gaels to the foul line 36 times.

But the capper came with five seconds left.

Trailing by a point, the Cardinals left Goretti's Tim Robinson unguarded past half-court. After receiving a long pass off the inbounds, Robinson scored a layup, got fouled and made the free throw to seal the victory.

Said Robinson: "I thought they would lay back and double-team us at half-court like they had the whole fourth quarter. I guess they didn't see me or something because I just snuck behind them and got wide open."

For most of the night, however, the Gaels did their damage with XTC the backcourt of Kyle Logan (game-high 18 points) and Phil Lane (12). Throughout the game, the pair beat Calvert Hall off the dribble and hit their shots from the field.

"We were surprised it was so close -- we figured we'd be down by five or six points in the fourth quarter," said Logan, whose team never trailed by more than three after halftime and led for the final 5:38. "We really hung in there. It was a team effort."

The Gaels (12-5, 3-0) helped themselves by making 13 of their final 15 foul shots in the final six minutes.

They took the lead for good by hitting four straight from the line after Calvert Hall center Patrick Ngongba committed a foul going for a rebound and then was whistled for a technical with 5:38 left.

Ngongba finished with seven points on 2-for-8 shooting and was never a factor.

"We got into foul trouble -- with silly fouls, we didn't rebound and we showed no patience on offense," said Amatucci. "This has become a ritual for us. They come here every year, we have a chance to jump ahead and then we stop playing."

Calvert Hall broke out of the gate quickly, hitting four of its first seven shots to take a 9-2 lead after Juan Dixon's layup with 5:01 left in the first quarter.

But the Cardinals' hot shooting wouldn't last. Against Goretti's collapsing defense, their inside game was largely ineffective, and they shot 11 percent (2-for-18) the rest of the half while being outscored, 17-7.

The Gaels hurt their own cause, missing a handful of easy layups and making just seven of 13 foul shots. The teams went into halftime tied at 19.

The second half was a battle the entire way.

Trailing, 33-30, Calvert Hall scored six straight points -- the final four on foul shots after a double technical on Goretti -- to take a 36-33 lead with 6:30 to play.

After holding the lead for 52 seconds, however, the Cardinals lost it for good.

Juan Dixon led the hosts with 12 points, and Sam Anyan and Gary Williams added eight each.

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