Heacock's shot gives Dons win over Cards Loyola's 52-50 victory clinches MIAA A crown

Boys basketball

February 22, 1997|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A three-point basket at the horn by senior Ryan Heacock lifted the No. 16-ranked Loyola Dons to a 52-50 victory over archrival, No. 3-ranked Calvert Hall for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship at Blakefield last night.

Trailing 50-45 with just 17 seconds to play, Loyola went on a seven-point winning rally and sent its standing-room-only senior night crowd into a frenzy.

The win raised Loyola's record to 20-9 overall and marked the 13th 20-win season for veteran coach Jerry Savage. It gave the Dons a 7-1 record in the MIAA and 9-3 in the Catholic League.

Calvert Hall dropped to 24-5 overall, 6-2 in the MIAA and 9-3 in the Catholic League.

"I always wanted to beat Calvert Hall," said Heacock, who finished with 15 points. "We knew we could beat them if we got back on defense this time."

The Cardinals won the first game, 67-41, at Calvert Hall.

Loyola cut into its late deficit as Heacock and Chris Malone each hit a pair of free throws, closing the lead to 50-49 with 12 seconds to play.

Then Calvert Hall missed the front end of its second one-and-one situation in a three-second span. Brian Cosgrove pulled down the rebound for the Dons and called time out with 7.6 seconds to play.

"We wanted to bring the ball up, get a little penetration and bring the ball back out," said Heacock. "I was wide open at the top of the key, and as soon as I got the ball, I saw Juan Dixon coming at me. But when I let it go, I knew it was good."

"He stuck it," said Savage of Heacock's game-winner. "It was a great win for us. We got some breaks, but we beat a great team."

The win was the first for the Dons since Mark Amatucci took over as coach of the Cardinals in the 1993-1994 season, a span of eight games.

"We're up five with 17 seconds to go -- we should have had it put away," said Amatucci. "Loyola played well. Give them credit for making the winning shot."

The first half was a defensive show by the Dons, who held Calvert Hall to 3-for-16 shooting in the first quarter as they opened a 15-7 lead. Eight of those points came from Carlos Somarriba, who led Loyola with 17 points, on moves from inside.

The Dons held a 22-13 lead with 1: 20 to play in the half, when Calvert Hall got something going offensively.

Dixon, who finished with 16 points, converted a pair of free throws with 1: 08 left and then Aaron Herbert swished a three-pointer with 25 seconds remaining to cut the Loyola lead to 22-18.

lTC After Somarriba connected for the Dons, Antoine Peoples cut the lead to 24-20 at intermission on a feed from Dixon.

In the third quarter, Dixon took control, hitting all five of his field goal attempts. He also made three steals that led to baskets and Calvert Hall appeared to be on its way to the MIAA championship with a 38-30 lead after three quarters.

Pub Date: 2/22/97

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