Davalli and Gibbons trounce Gaels, 75-59 Crusaders get revenge for last season's loss to Mount St. Joseph

January 27, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A transitional season for Cardinal Gibbons last year, which included the death of its longtime coach, ended with a disappointing loss to Mount St. Joseph in the Catholic League Tournament quarterfinals. It was was one of Josh Davalli's worst performances.

Both gained redemption last night -- with an exclamation point.

Playing with a purpose from the opening tip, the No. 10 Crusaders manhandled No. 11 Mount St. Joseph, 75-59, before a capacity crowd at Mount St. Joseph.

Davalli led Gibbons (14-6, 2-2) with 25 points while Vernon Collins added 17 and James Urban scored 13. Danny Whye led all scorers with 27 points for Mount St. Joseph (10-5, 2-3).

DTC The Crusaders opened the second half with a 11-2 run to build a 42-25 advantage and never allowed Mount St. Joseph back into the game from that point.

Gibbons led by as many 25 points in the final quarter and added a final touch as Reggie Jones broke free for a dunk, sending Gibbons fans into a frenzy.

"This is always a big game for us," said Davalli, a 6-foot-5 swing forward. "We played 32 minutes tonight and didn't let them back into the game and were patient."

After playing the nation's No. 2 team, Christ the King of New York, close before losing in the finals of the Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo., Gibbons put together a nearly flawless performance last night.

"We played three great games in Missouri and had three great practices," said Cardinal Gibbons coach Bryan Moorhouse, who succeeded the late Ray Mullis. "The kids were ready to play and the crowd really motivated them. It was a great atmosphere."

Four starters scored in double figures for Gibbons and it played a variety of defenses, keeping the hosts off balance most of the evening.

The Gaels missed five of their first six shots in the second half, after missing their last seven of the first half, and never recovered.

Davalli scored five and Collins four during the 11-2 run as Davalli hit a three-pointer with 3:56 left in the third quarter to give the Crusaders a 42-25 lead.

Mount St. Joseph pulled to within 44-31 on a layup by Whye, but a three-pointer by Collins was followed by a layup by Colin Moorhouse at the third-period buzzer, pushing Gibbons' lead to 49-31.

"They took the game to us," said Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchley. "They beat us in every phase tonight. They played one notch higher than us."

With a 6-0 run, Gibbons took an early 10-4 lead. A three-pointer by Davalli that took a nice bounce provided a 15-8 cushion with 1:36 left in the first quarter.

After McNeill scored the first basket of the second period for Mount St. Joseph, Gibbons went on a quick 6-0 spurt, including a runner by Davalli in the lane, gaining its largest advantage of the first half at 21-12.

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