Mount St. Joe holds off Calvert Hall, 60-59 McNeill seals upset by scoring last 4 points

January 22, 1996|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

No. 11 Mount St. Joseph, relying on its defense for most of the game, denied No. 3 Calvert Hall a chance for a tying three-pointer in the closing seconds and pulled out a 60-59 Catholic League victory in Irvington yesterday.

Trailing 60-57 with 20 seconds to play after forcing a Gaels turnover, Calvert Hall called its last timeout to set up the potential game-tying points.

But unable to get a shot from the perimeter, Aaron Herbert drove for a layup with four seconds to go, scored the bucket, and then watched as the clock ticked away with the Cardinals a point shy.

"We knew they didn't have any timeouts," said Gaels coach Pat Clatchey. "We just reminded them not to foul on a shot, and if Calvert Hall scored late we weren't going to pick the ball up."

The win improved Mount St. Joseph to 9-3 overall and 2-1 in the Catholic League, and was the second league loss in eight days for Calvert Hall (13-4 and 2-2).

"We didn't get a good screen on the last play," said Cardinals coach Mark Amatucci, "and our second option was to go to Patrick [Ngongba] inside, hoping he would get fouled. But we couldn't get either."

Jeremy Walsh and Tori Butler combined for 16 points, and junior guard Cory McNeill led the Gaels with 18, including the team's last four points of the game.

"Cory wants the ball in clutch situations," said Clatchey. "He's confident and he's a winner."

Calvert Hall was led by Herbert's 16 points. Ngongba scored 13 and Sam Anyan added 11 for the Cardinals.

There were seven lead changes in the first quarter, which ended with the Gaels ahead 14-13. The second quarter saw Calvert Hall regain the lead, 18-16, in the first minute on five points by Herbert. After that the teams were tied three times until a three-point play by Walsh moved the Gaels ahead 26-23 with 3:59 left in the half.

Calvert Hall was still within a point (28-27) with just over a minute left in the half when the Gaels made the biggest run of the half, outscoring the visitors 8-0 in the final 60 seconds before intermission. Junior Corsley Edwards scored five and McNeill added a three-point play that put the Gaels in front 36-27 at halftime.

After McNeill opened the second half with the three-point shot to open a 39-27 lead, Calvert Hall scored nine straight points and 14 of the next 16 to pull even at 41-41 with 3:59 left in the third quarter. The Cardinals tied the game three times in the quarter but never regained the lead.

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