St. Paul's finally warms up, beats Severn for crown, 46-38

February 24, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The first meeting between Severn and St. Paul's resulted in a last-second shot and a victory for St. Paul's. The next meeting produced overtime and Severn winning on the Crusaders' home court.

For most of last night's third and final meeting, at Gilman, both teams provided a dose of bad shooting and scoring droughts. But St. Paul's finally got lukewarm and pulled away for a 46-38 victory over the Admirals to win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference title.

Michael Satyshur scored seven of his 11 points in the final quarter for St. Paul's. Dennard Melton led Severn (14-14) with a game-high 17 points, 12 in the last period.

The victory gives St. Paul's (17-6) its fourth conference championship since 1988. The Crusaders won the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference in 1988, 1991 and 1992.

A fourth title seemed unlikely two weeks ago after a 20-point loss at home to Towson Catholic. The Crusaders had held their own against MIAA A powers Calvert Hall, Loyola, Gibbons and Mount St. Joseph before losing.

But St. Paul's regrouped in time, beating defending champion John Carroll on Wednesday in the semifinals and winning last night's rubber match with Severn.

"We knew we were going to shoot the ball a little better in the second half," said St. Paul's coach Rick Collins, who has led the Crusaders to seven conference finals in 10 seasons. "The bottom line is basically we have a bunch of kids who aren't true basketball players, but work hard every game."

After shooting nine of 33 from the field in the first 24 minutes, St. Paul's connected on four of its first seven in the fourth quarter to build a 39-33 lead with 3:19 remaining in the game.

Severn rallied to get within 39-38 with 2:21 remaining after consecutive scores by Melton, including a 20-foot three-pointer,

but the Admirals would miss their final five shots after that.

Justin Singleton drove the baseline for a layup to extend St. Paul's lead to 41-38 with 1:24 left. Tiano Brown locked it up for the Crusaders, hitting a 17-footer with 39 seconds left.

"We knew that eventually the baskets would fall," said Satyshur, a 5-foot-10 sophomore guard. "But we knew we could rely on our defense and keep working hard."

The Crusaders finished the fourth quarter hitting six of 12 from the field and 12-for-29 in the second half. Severn was 12-for-41 overall, but had only eight field goals after the opening quarter.

"Give them credit, Rick Collins scouted us four or five times," said Severn coach Charles Duckett.

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