Young Towson Catholic takes 47-31 licking from Woodbridge Calvert Hall triumphs, Southern loses by point in openers for both teams


December 06, 1997|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Woodbridge, a northern Virginia team ranked No. 14 in the Washington, D.C. area, pulled away from inexperienced Towson Catholic in the final quarter for an easy 47-31 victory at the Towson Catholic Tip-Off Mixer at Goucher College last night.

Last season, when the Owls took the floor in their season opener, it was without point guard Lafonte Johnson. They needed overtime before winning.

Last night, Towson Catholic, ranked No. 8 in the Baltimore area, was again without Johnson, who is suspended for academic reasons. This time, his absence was felt.

In other Tip-Off games, Bishop McNamara of Prince George's County edged No. 3-ranked Southern-Balto., and No. 9 Calvert Hall defeated Chestnut Hill of Philadelphia. The fourth game was called off following a potentially serious injury.

Of his team's loss to Woodbridge, Towson Catholic coach Mike Daniel noted that his roster has eight underclassmen and just two seniors, adding: "We're just too young."

"Woodbridge was able to do pretty much whatever they wanted, and our backcourt is made of sophomores," he continued. "Right now, what to do when is a problem."

Daniel didn't want to comment on when Johnson would return. Johnson, a 5-foot-7 junior, was the Owls' leading scorer last season, earning All-City/County second-team honors as well as being second-team All-Catholic League.

Nick Clay led Woodbridge (2-0) with a game-high 18 points and Victor Blocker added 11. Senior center Todd Sykes led Towson Catholic (0-1) with 11 points.

Sykes, the lone senior starter for the Owls, fouled out with 4: 26 left in the game. Without his leadership and Johnson's command of the offense, it was a long struggle.

In the final eight minutes, Towson Catholic missed seven of eight shots, turned the ball over seven times and got few good looks at the basket.

Sophomore Aaron Early assumed point guard duties for Towson Catholic and scored five points, shooting 1-for-8 with six turnovers. His Woodbridge counterpart, Blocker, had five assists.

Trailing 24-15 at halftime, Towson Catholic was able to get its offense in motion, scoring 10 straight points to take a 25-24 lead with 5: 02 remaining in the third period on a basket by Anthony Thornton. It was the Owls' only lead.

Woodbridge led 30-29 after three quarters.

Bishop McNamara 49, No. 3 Southern-Balto. 48: The No. 3 Bulldogs dropped their season-opener when Wendell Dixon hit a short jumper with six seconds remaining for Prince George's County's Bishop McNamara (2-0).

Southern held a 44-39 advantage with 2: 10 left after consecutive baskets by senior guard Emil Curry, who led the Bulldogs (0-1) with a game-high 22 points and was their only double-digit scorer.

But with 27 seconds left, Maurice Young's basket pulled the Forestville visitors within a point, 48-47. McNamara's Esmond Marvray stole Southern's ensuing inbound pass and gave the ball to Dixon, who drove toward the basket before scoring.

"We didn't make the rotation that we were supposed to make," said Southern coach Meredith Smith. "We didn't have the proper spacing in our press offense. This is disappointing, because the kids know the reason we didn't win a lack of execution."

Dixon led McNamara with 13 points, four assists and three steals; Young had 13 points, as well, and seven rebounds.

No. 9 Calvert Hall 60, Chestnut Hill (Pa.) 48: Sophomore guard Jared Woodley scored 15 points and Tim Knapp added 14, leading Calvert Hall to a season-opening victory over Chestnut Hill of Philadelphia.

The Cardinals broke free from an 8-8 tie after the opening quarter, outscoring Chestnut Hill 24-8 to lead 32-16 at halftime. Knapp, a 6-foot-3 junior forward, scored all his points in the period.

Calvert Hall extended its lead to 24 points in the third quarter, but could only manage two field goals in the final period as Chestnut Hill pulled within 10.

"For much of the first half, and some of the third quarter, we played pretty well and did what we wanted to do," said Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci. "The final 12 minutes were totally the opposite. It was disappointing, but I think that was expected, and we have to grow from it."

Chestnut Hill's Tom Whitworth led all scorers with 22 points, 16 of them in the fourth quarter. Tim Whitworth added 16.

No. 10 Douglass, Paterson (N.J.) Catholic: The final game in last night's tournament was suspended midway in the third quarter after a Douglass player hit his head on the court.

Junior forward Joe Ison was taken to the Greater Baltimore Medical Center about 11: 25 p.m. after being undercut on a layup attempt and hitting his head near the baseline.

Ison lost consciousness for a few minutes before he was able to move his legs and open his eyes. He was taken to hospital as a precaution, said Goucher College athletic trainer Scott Lockridge, one of the first persons to attend to Ison.

"It was very scary at first, but I think he's going to be OK," said Douglass coach Rodney Cofield.

The Ducks were leading 42-36 with 4: 26 remaining in the third quarter when the game was halted.

Pub Date: 12/06/97

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