Mt. Zion leaves Pallotti behind North Carolinians clinch 64-54 win in last 3 minutes

Charm City Classic

January 31, 1998|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For the second straight season, Mount Zion Christian of Durham, N.C., will play for the Northwest bracket championship at the Charm City Classic. Mount Zion defeated Laurel's St. Vincent Pallotti, 64-54, before some 2,000 at the Towson Center last night.

Cory Hightower, regarded as one of the country's top 50 seniors, led all scorers with 21 points for Mount Zion, and J.R. Raymond added 14. Dayton-bound guard Dave Morris led Pallotti (18-5), ranked No. 4 in the Washington area by The Washington Post, with 14 points, and Kenny Whitehead added 13.

Mount Zion (18-4), ranked No. 17 in the nation by USA Today, will play St. John's at Prospect Hall of Frederick for the bracket title at 9 tonight. Mount Zion defeated St. Frances in last year's

Southeast bracket championship.

With the game tied at 49 with 3: 29 remaining, Mount Zion outscored Pallotti 15-5 to win.

Travis Robinson (11 points), who is headed to Missouri, put Mount Zion ahead to stay with a layup. Then Tony Taylor followed with two free throws.

After a layup by Morris brought Pallotti to within 53-51 with 2: 02 left, Marquis Williams had a dunk and Taylor hit two more free throws, extending the lead to 57-51.

Morris hit a three-pointer to bring Pallotti back to 57-54 with 1: 12 remaining, but Mount Zion scored the final seven points.

"I thought we played a very good game," said Pallotti coach Mike Glick, who has five starters heading to Division I colleges. "The difference was, they made the shots when they needed to and we didn't."

Mount Zion built a 9-2 lead after a three-pointer by Hightower, but Palotti turned three straight Mount Zion turnovers into baskets, cutting the lead to 9-8.

A jumper and three-point play by Hightower sparked a 7-0 run, pushing the lead back to 16-8. Mount Zion got its largest lead of the first half, 19-10, with 1: 13 left in first period.

Robinson added 11 points for Mount Zion. Aaron Rowland scored 10 points for Pallotti, which will play Newport Prep in the consolation game at 5: 30 p.m. today.

Pub Date: 1/31/98

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