Second-half effort lifts St. Anthony over Southern-B, 56-44, in Classic Nation's top team beats Baltimore's

Prospect Hall wins

Boys basketball

January 26, 1996|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Southern Bulldogs entered play last night with fond memories of past Charm City Classics. In their last appearance, two years ago, they upset national No. 1 Rice and Felipe Lopez to win their bracket.

The scenario was similar last night, as the Bulldogs, ranked 12th nationally, faced off with St. Anthony of New Jersey -- the No. 1 team in the nation according to USA Today.

The result, however, was not.

After leading for much of the way, the locally top-ranked Bulldogs got bowled over by a third-quarter storm of Friars defense and went down to a 56-44 defeat before a crowd estimated at 2,800 at the Towson Center.

St. Anthony advances to tomorrow's Northwest Bracket final against Prospect Hall, an 80-64 winner over St. Raymond's.

"We did what we wanted to do against them," said Southern coach Meredith Smith. "I thought we played as well as anyone has against them this season. Down the stretch we played hard but we just ran out of gas."

Trailing, 28-22, St. Anthony took control of the game in the last five minutes of the third quarter.

Friars guard Delvon Arrington began things by stealing a pass in the backcourt and converting it into an easy layup. The play seemed to spark St. Anthony, which then went on a 13-0 run over the next 5:08.

When St. Anthony's backcourt made three straight steals and turned them into baskets late in the quarter, the Friars had a 35-28 lead, and they never looked back.

"We picked up our intensity," said St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley. "We made good judgments, offensively, but we became more aggressive and played with a little life."

Said the Bulldogs' Johnny Hemsley: "We played extremely well but they started hitting their shots when they needed to. They showed why they're the best team in the country."

Marlin Wise led Southern with 17 points -- including three three-pointers -- while Hemsley was held to five. Anthony Perry paced the Friars with 18.

Southern will play in tomorrow's Northwest consolation, taking on St. Raymond's at 3:45.

In the early game in the bracket, a little bit of touch and a lot of defense went a long way for Prospect Hall.

The Frederick team (11-2) -- ranked 15th in the nation by USA Today -- built an early lead with seven three-pointers in the first half, then kept it by holding St. Raymond's of New York to 30-percent field-goal shooting.

"I thought we had a strong defensive effort," said Vikings coach Stu Vetter.

There was no better way to describe St. Raymond's (4-10) yesterday than ice cold. After hitting two of their first three shots, the Ravens threw away any chance of an upset by misfiring on 20 of their next 21.

"We just couldn't put the ball in the basket," said coach Gary DeCeasare, whose team shot 30 percent for the game. "We got 82 shots, and they were all good looks at the basket, but they wouldn't go in. We have young kids and that's what happens."

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