Jenifer scores 30 as Owls run, win

Towson Catholic uses height advantage, balance to beat St. Frances, 80-73

High Schools

January 24, 2000|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

St. Frances likes to play a run-and-gun style, pushing the ball up the floor at every opportunity. Unfortunately for the Panthers, so does top-ranked Towson Catholic.

The Owls (17-4, 6-0) had four players in double figures, led by Keith Jenifer's game-high 30 points, and defeated the visiting Panthers, 80-73, in a Catholic League game yesterday.

Timmy Payne led No. 9 St. Frances (10-4, 4-2) with 20 points.

The Owls exploited a large height advantage, sending two or three taller players to do the defensive rebounding while St. Frances sent all five. That resulted in easy baskets in transition for Towson Catholic.

"These teams are a mirror image of one another," Towson Catholic coach Mike Daniel said. "We both like to push it and control the action. Either team could have won the game. It was just our day."

St. Frances coach William Wells was not so complimentary of his team's effort.

"We played the game backward today," Wells said. "We were crashing the offensive boards, but playing tentatively on the defensive boards. It should have been the other way around. We played playground basketball today and it killed us."

Jenifer has scored 30, 23, and 30 points in the Owls' past three games. Wells said his goal was to let Jenifer get his points while limiting everyone else.

"We knew Keith would get his. Good players usually do," Wells said. "It was our defense on the other kids that beat us."

The Owls broke open a tight game in the last two minutes of the second quarter with an 8-1 run for a 41-33 halftime lead.

Trailing 57-47 with 1: 26 left in the third quarter, St. Frances used baskets by Payne, Gerald Brown and Charles Lightfoot and a free throw by Jamal Jacobs to cut the lead to 57-54 with 6: 28 left in the game.

The Owls responded with a three-pointer by Carmello Anthony and two-pointers by Jenifer and Darnell Hopkins to run the lead to 64-54 with 4: 39 left. St. Frances never got closer than six after that.

"We wanted it more," Jenifer said. "We want to go undefeated in the league this year, and this is a big step."

The win establishes Towson Catholic as the favorite in the Catholic League.

"I think it's them, and then a step or two down to everybody else," Wells said. "We made some mistakes today and they took advantage."

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