Owls pull a 'Houdini,' dodge Gaels Towson Catholic wins, 61-58, led by Johnsons

Boys basketball

February 01, 1997|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The nickname for Towson Catholic is Owls, but it might as well have been Houdini last night.

In the final 16 seconds of regulation, the No. 20 Owls withstood three chances by visiting, No. 13 Mount St. Joseph to tie the game, escaping with a 61-58 victory in a Catholic League game.

Steve Johnson led Towson Catholic (13-8) with 15 points, and Lafonte Johnson added 14.

Torrey Butler led Mount St. Joseph (17-6) with 13 points, and Todd Bowles contributed 12.

With two seconds left in the game, Mount St. Joseph had the ball under its basket, trailing 61-58. Corey McNeill inbounded the ball to Chris Masters in the right corner, but Masters' three-point attempt hit off the back of the rim as time expired.

The final play was set up after Damian Hocker had partially blocked a three-point attempt by McNeill, and the ball was knocked out of bounds by Towson Catholic, giving Mount St. Joseph possession with two seconds left.

"Some days we're good, and some days we're bad," said Towson Catholic coach Mike Daniel. "But we were able to feed off Thursday's win and carry it over tonight."

The Owls, who beat Southern-Baltimore on Thursday at the Charm City Classic, were leading 60-58 when Steve Johnson missed the back end of a one-and-one. Sean Johnson grabbed the rebound for Mount St. Joseph and pass it to Bowles. Bowles drove to the middle of the lane, but lost the ball.

"On the last play of the game, we had one of our best shooters have a good look at the basket," said Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchley. "You couldn't ask for more than that. It's just life on the road in the Catholic League."

Towson Catholic trailed 38-35 midway in the third quarter, then went on a 12-0 run to build a 47-38 lead with 6: 54 remaining in regulation.

Mount St. Joseph was down by 59-55 with 26 seconds left, but a three-point play by Butler made it a one-point game with 17 seconds left. Steve Johnson hit one of two free throws, giving the Owls a 60-58 lead.

The Gaels scored the game's first two baskets before Towson Catholic scored nine straight for an early 9-4 advantage.

A three-pointer by B. J. Romanowski with 6: 40 remaining in the first half capped a 10-0 run for Mount St. Joseph, giving the Gaels a 14-9 lead. It was extended to 21-12 with 4: 22 left on a three-point play by Sean Johnson.

Steve Johnson brought the Owls back to within 21-17 in less than 20 seconds, with a three-point play followed by a steal and layup. Mount St. Joseph pushed the lead up to 26-19 before settling for a 30-27 halftime lead.

Pub Date: 2/01/97

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