Robinson's foul shots lift Spalding to final

Cavaliers edge Mt. St. Joe, will meet Towson Catholic for Catholic League title

High Schools

February 28, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

A pair of free throws by Tremaine Robinson with five seconds left enabled defending champion Archbishop Spalding to escape with a 56-54 victory over Mount St. Joseph in the semifinals of the 29th Baltimore Catholic League Tournament last night at Goucher College.

Gaels sophomore guard J.J. Outlaw, who had a game-high 27 points, went coast-to-coast after the free throws by Robinson (team-high 25 points, 10 rebounds), and his lay-in missed by inches off the side of the rim at the buzzer.

A follow by Tim Gilman was a hair late and stuck on the side of the cylinder as the game ended.

The victory by the No. 6 Cavaliers (22-10) sets up a fourth meeting with No. 5 Towson Catholic at 7: 30 tonight at Goucher.

Superb defense and rebounding coupled with a big game by Keith Jenifer enabled the Owls to knock off St. Frances, 56-35, in the other semifinal.

Spalding took two of three from the Owls this season, including a 70-53 romp in a playoff for the regular-season title Tuesday at Mount St. Joseph.

Senior leader and go-to guy Jenifer scored a game-high 20 points and had five rebounds and four assists to lead Towson Catholic (28-8) into its first tournament final since 1998, when it defeated Mount St. Joseph, 68-59.

"It's good to win, but it's far from over, " said Towson Catholic coach Mike Daniel.

The Cavaliers, who beat St. Frances, 57-49, in last year's final, got out early, and a reverse jam by Robinson gave them a 10-0 lead. By the end of the first period, it was 17-7 Spalding.

Three turnovers late in the first half enabled the Gaels (22-10) to cut the deficit to 25-21 at intermission, and it seemed to fire them up.

There were four ties in the third period before Gilman banked a three-pointer from the corner off the glass for a 38-37 Gaels lead with 2: 45 left. Another three by Gilman after two straight baskets by Derrick Snowden, who had 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds for the Cavaliers, gave St. Joe a 43-41 lead going into the final eight minutes.

A layup by Outlaw started the final period.

There were three more ties going down the stretch, and a three-point play by Snowden tied things at 54 with 1: 27 left.

A crucial play with 33 seconds left occurred when the Cavaliers' Isaac Brooks slipped and fell near midcourt and called timeout lying on his side to prevent the turnover.

Snowden missed a short jumper in the paint with eight seconds left and fumbled the rebound out to Robinson, who was fouled by Marcus Johnson to set up the game-winning free throws.

In the first semifinal, No. 8 St. Frances (19-8) was 11-for-51 (22 percent) from the field, mainly due to some tenacious man-to-man defense by Towson Catholic, which shot 41 percent (17-for-41).

"We re-committed to defense and did a good job interrupting their shots," said Daniel. "To get to the championship game, you've got to play good defense and rebound."

The Owls denied the Panthers second shots and put-backs by grabbing 22 defensive rebounds to seven offensive rebounds by St. Frances.

Jason Osborne, the Owls' 6-foot-8, 250-pound center, did not score, but he grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and blocked four shots.

Tim Payne led the Panthers with 14 points, seven in each half, and pulled down nine rebounds to go with three blocks.

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