Towson Catholic, looking ahead, pulls out win

Thornton tough in clutch as Owls top Calvert Hall

Boys basketball

February 06, 1999|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A matchup with No. 1-ranked Archbishop Spalding on the horizon, No. 3 Towson Catholic got past host and No. 7 Calvert Hall, 57-47, in a Catholic League contest last night.

The Owls (18-4, 9-1 league) remained a game behind first-place Spalding, setting up tomorrow afternoon's showdown with the top-ranked Cavaliers at Towson Catholic. Spalding held off the Owls, 71-68, in overtime last month.

While Spalding had an easy time last night, routing Cardinal Gibbons, 75-50, Towson Catholic needed a late fourth-quarter push to turn away the Cardinals.

Gil Goodrich led Towson Catholic with 19 points and Anthony Thornton added 18. Reggie Bryant led Calvert Hall with a game-high 21.

Thornton, a 6-foot-6 senior center, had a three-point play with 3: 32 left that gave the Owls a 44-41 lead, set up by a spinning assist from Keith Jenifer (17 points).

The Cardinals closed the gap to one several times, but the Owls made eight of nine free throws in the final two minutes. Thornton scored seven points in the decisive quarter.

"We're kind of hard on him, and he came through with a big game," said Towson Catholic coach Mike Daniel, whose team is the defending Catholic League champion. "He came through with a senior game. It's the kind of game we need from him."

Calvert Hall (13-9, 3-6) wiped out an 11-point second-half deficit, pulling even at 41 on a three-pointer by Tim Knapp with 4: 13 left in the game.

But down the stretch the Cardinals were unable to finish, especially after the loss of Delbert Randall, who suffered a bruised hip in the waning moments of the third quarter on a drive to the basket.

"If the games were 40 minutes, we probably would be undefeated," said Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci, whose team shot 4-for-13 in the final period. "We've been in one- and two-point situations late in the game and are not getting the job done. Mentally, they've got to work it out. Xs and Os can't cure that."

The Owls had a 13-7 advantage in the first quarter after a three-pointer by Goodrich, who made three in the game. After sitting for most of the quarter, Bryant, who may be the Catholic League's best player, saw his first action and immediately scored as Calvert Hall trailed 15-14 at the conclusion of the quarter.

The Owls, with only nine players, had three of them with two fouls in the second period. Despite that problem and struggling offensively, Towson Catholic led, 24-21, at halftime.

The Owls extended the lead to 36-25 midway in the third quarter, getting back-to-back, short baseline jumpers from Thornton during a 9-0 surge.

"We wanted to keep the crowd out of the game as much as possible," said Thornton, who had eight rebounds.

Pub Date: 2/06/99

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