St. Frances romps past Mount St. Joe Payne, Hampton power Panthers to 71-53 victory

Boys basketball

January 14, 1998|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For most of the season, St. Frances has had to listen to the questions as to whether it can win without Mark Karcher, the two-time All-Metro boys Player of the Year who's at Temple.

They may not be the imposing force they were the past couple of seasons, but the No. 7-ranked Panthers are doing just fine. Last night, they beat host and No. 8 Mount St. Joseph, 71-53, in a Catholic League game.

Sophomore forward Timmy Payne scored a game-high 24 points for the Panthers ( 8-3, 3-1), and Shawn Hampton added 22 and five rebounds. Torrey Butler led Mount St. Joseph (13-5, 0-4) with 13 points and Sean Johnson had 12.

After losing a rare Catholic League game last Friday to Loyola, St. Frances bounced back strong, leading the entire game, and now faces a Friday night showdown with No. 5 and first-place Spalding at the University of Baltimore.

"The kids showed me something tonight," said St. Frances coach William Wells. "I thought playing against a great team like Mount St. Joseph would be a challenge and they showed great composure. We don't have Mark, but we got more talent at every position and on the bench."

In four seasons with Karcher, St. Frances won 99 games, three Catholic League regular-season and postseason tournament championships and was ranked No. 1 at the end of the 1995-96 season.

Most of the attention is now geared toward Hampton, a 6-foot-8 senior center, who's considered to be the area's top college prospect.

Wells has said that Hampton doesn't have to score a lot because he has support, including Payne, a solid 6-6 transfer from Carver, who assisted Hampton in dominating the offensive and defensive boards for St. Frances.

Leading 22-19 late in the second quarter, Payne started a 12-1 run by the Panthers with a basket, finishing with six as St. Frances led, 34-20, at halftime.

Hampton got St. Frances going in the second half, scoring three straight points to extend the advantage to 37-20. The Panthers led by as many as 18 points in the second half.

"We had a great team last year, but we know we can't rely on the past," Hampton said. "I tell the guys every day that we got to come together and now everybody is beginning to understand their roles."

Pub Date: 1/14/98

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