St. Mary's wins on shot with : 32 left Saints drop Curley, advance to semis in MIAA B tournament

February 20, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Minutes before last night's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference quarterfinal, St. Mary's coach Roger Reed could only shake his head about his team's previous meeting with Archbishop Curley.

"They looked unbeatable," said Reed, whose team fell behind early two weeks ago and never recovered.

Last night at Curley, though, the Saints found a way to beat the unbeatable, combining a quicker start, strong defense down the stretch, and a driving layup from guard A. J. Mason with 32 seconds left in a 64-62 win over the 20th-ranked Friars.

Trailing by four, St. Mary's held Curley without a basket (0-for-9) in the final 6: 52, finishing the game with a 12-6 run.

"I think our defense dictated the tempo," said Reed. "I felt that if we came in and played well, it would go down to the wire."

The Saints (19-9), seeded third in Division I, advance to tonight's tournament semifinals at Gilman, facing top-seeded Severn, a 67-50 winner yesterday over John Carroll.

To get there, they had to focus extra attention on getting off to TC good start. In their last meeting with Curley, they allowed an astounding 35 points in the first quarter and trailed by double digits throughout.

"I think that was the most important thing -- to come out mentally prepared," said forward D. J. Dauses. "We couldn't give up a big lead like we did last game. As long as we did that, I knew we could beat them."

Led by Dauses, who finished with a team-high 22 points, the Saints did just that, leading 12-7 after the first 3: 50 and 14-10 with 2: 40 left in the first quarter.

They did their best work in the half-court offense, using their large height advantage over the Friars to score on the inside and control both boards.

"We tried to apply pressure early to stop their spot-up shooting," said Reed. "We forced them to drive the lane right to [6-foot-9] Matt Treadwell, and his presence made a difference."

Still, Curley (18-10) led for much of the way, with forward Mike Palmere scoring most of his game-high 26 points from the perimeter. Palmere, however, was the only Friar in double figures.

"I think we turned the ball over too much," said Curley coach Dan Popera, whose team committed 18 turnovers. "Then in the final few minutes, we just didn't make good decisions, and that really hurt us."

St. Mary's led by as many as 10 early in the third quarter before the Friars exploded for a 15-3 run that put them up by two midway through the quarter.

The teams traded the lead seven times the rest of the way, with Mason's basket giving the Saints a 63-62 lead with 32 seconds left. After a free throw by Dauses increased the lead to two, Palmere had a chance to force overtime, but watched as his spinning layup attempt at the buzzer rolled off.

St. Paul's 54, Friends 40: Junior guard Michael Satyshur scored 13 points and senior center Justin Singleton added 12 to lead the top-seeded Crusaders (19-6) to the MIAA B semifinals at 5 p.m. today at Gilman vs. McDonogh.

McDonogh 53, Gilman 46: Owen Daly scored 18 points to help McDonogh (16-6) over host Gilman in an MIAA B quarterfinal.

Pub Date: 2/20/97

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