St. Paul's makes first-half lead stand up, beats St. Mary's, 56-51

January 31, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On a board outside of St. Paul's locker room was a scouting report on St. Mary's, its opponent yesterday in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association game.

The Crusaders followed it to near perfection, taking a 16-point lead at halftime. But they forgot to review those notes for the second half, and ended up turning back the Saints, 56-51.

Justin Singleton led No. 18 St. Paul's (12-1, 6-1) with 13 points and Simeon Wharton contributed 12. Braxton McNeil led St. Mary's (6-9, 3-3) with 14 points and Sanford Womack added 13.

Trailing by nine points at the start of the final period and by 52-44 with 2:29 remaining, St. Mary's found itself within 52-51 on a layup by Danny Marohl.

Skeets Dansicker put St. Paul's up by three with a layup with 31 seconds remaining before St. Mary's called a timeout with 17.4 seconds left.

Marohl missed a long three-pointer with about five seconds remaining and Michael Satyshur got the rebound and was fouled with 3.4 seconds left. His two free throws put the game of reach.

"I guess it comes with experience and being able to calm down in the fourth quarter," said Singleton. "Keeping our intensity in the second half is something that we have to work on a lot, and it comes from within."

The Crusaders were without coach Rick Collins, who was serving an one-game suspension for picking up two technical fouls in Friday's 56-55 victory over Severn.

Trailing 7-6, St. Paul's scored 26 of the next 32 points to take its largest lead at 32-13 with 1:12 remaining in the first half.

St. Mary's came out quickly in the second half, scoring the first five to pull within 11. After St. Paul's pushed the lead back to 38-23, the Saints outscored the hosts, 10-4, as Womack and McNeil combined for eight points.

The Saints slipped behind by 46-34 with 7:01 left, but got to within 46-42 after Jamal Reed stole the ball from Singleton and went in for a layup, completing an 8-0 run.

Singleton later came back with a rebound and follow on a miss by Chris Kakel putting the Crusaders up by eight at 52-44, but St. Mary's rallied again, scoring the next seven to close within 52-51.

"They got transition baskets and we missed some free throws and that was the difference," said St. Mary's coach Dave Lombardi.

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