Calvert Hall, St. Joe to meet in semifinals Gibbons tops Loyola in OT to earn date with St. Frances

Boys basketball

March 02, 1996|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Calvert Hall's Juan Dixon bunched 12 of his game-high 21 points into a 3 1/2 -minute spurt at the beginning of the third quarter to spark No. 2-seed Calvert Hall past No. 7-seed Towson Catholic, 64-57, in the opening game of the 25th annual Baltimore Catholic League tournament at Goucher College last night.

In the second game of the tournament, No. 6-seed Mount St. Joseph rallied in the final quarter behind senior center Dan Whye to upset No. 3-seed St. Maria Goretti, 64-58, and advance to tomorrow's semifinal against Calvert Hall at 5:45 p.m.

A steal and layup by Vernon Collins with one minute left in overtime put Cardinal Gibbons (22-11) ahead to stay and the fifth-seeded Crusaders topped No. 4-seed Loyola, 81-77, to advance to the semifinal round against top-seeded and No. 1-ranked St. Frances

A spectacular shooting show in which both teams shot nearly 70 percent from the field in the second half was sent into overtime when a shot by Gibbons' Mike Simmons rolled around and out as the buzzer sounded to end regulation.

Josh Davalli led Gibbons with 27 points, Collins had 17 and Keith Phoebus scored 16. Jason Vogtman led Loyola (20-10) with 21 while Adam Shigley and Matt Neumayer each scored 17.

It was a game in which neither team could forge any type of significant lead with Gibbons up by one at halftime and by 58-56 after three quarters. Loyola never led in the fourth quarter, but after two Davalli free throws provided a 72-70 Crusader lead, Neumayer hit a short jumper in the lane with 40 seconds left in regulation to pull the Dons even for the first time since the second quarter.

The Dons finally got the lead with 1:32 left in overtime when Shigley used a spin move and hit a jumper in the lane and added a free throw for a 75-74 edge.

But after Gibbons missed its next shot, Collins made his crucial steal in backcourt and scored the go-ahead basket for Gibbons.

Mount St. Joseph (14-12), which trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, gradually pared down the Goretti lead in the second half, closing to within 43-40 after three quarters.

Then after falling back 48-42 in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, the 6-foot-8 Whye scored seven points in an 11-0 run that put the Gaels ahead for good, 53-48, with 2:47 to play.

"Danny's a big-time player, a proven commodity," St. Joe coach Pat Clatchey said.

Whye finished with 16 points and guards Cory McNeill and Aaron Bowles chipped in with 15 and 14, respectively, including six free throws in the closing minutes to help hold off Goretti, which dropped to 23-12.

L "This was definitely a character win for us," Clatchey said.

Kyle Logan led Goretti with 18 points and Jay Piccolomini added 17. But All-League guard Phil Lane was limited to 13 points on 5-for-16 shooting.

The victory by Calvert Hall (24-7) was not an easy one for the area's No. 6 team as the spunky Owls kept the pressure on in the final quarter, outscoring the Cardinals 28-18.

"We played great defense the first half [limiting Towson Catholic to 3-for-16 shooting] and we come out and get three quick stops in the third quarter and bang, bang, bang we're up by 21 points," said Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci. "Then we can't sustain that with the people off the bench."

Both Calvert Hall and Towson Catholic started with 25 percent shooting in a defensive first quarter that ended deadlocked, 7-7.

Calvert Hall used two three-pointers by Sam Anyan to open a 20-10 lead midway in the second quarter.

"This was the first time anyone has played a triangle and two against us this season," Amatucci said. "But Sam was open on the baseline against that and he hit those big jumpers."

But the Owls weren't about to give up. Despite managing just one field goal in the quarter, a three-pointer by Lafonte Johnson, the Owls used 9-for-12 foul shooting in the quarter to pull within six points, 25-19 at intermission.

Then Dixon hit his first five shots of the second half, two from three-point range, to build a 44-23 lead with 2:55 remaining in the third quarter.

"At that point we were cruising," said Amatucci. "But beating somebody three times during a season is never easy and we needed more support from people off the bench."

The Owls (13-17) kept battling back but couldn't get closer than the seven-point final margin.

The Cardinals had four players in double figures as Aaron Herbert finished with 12 points and Antoine Peoples and Anyan each scored 10. Towson Catholic's freshman backcourt of Lafonte Johnson and Steven Johnson scored 14 and 11, respectively, to lead the Owls.

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