Towson Cath., Goretti gain final

St. Maria Gaels top Mount

Owls beat Gibbons, 53-38

Catholic League basketball

High schools

March 03, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Top-seeded St. Maria Goretti (23-9) of Hagerstown and No. 3-seed Towson Catholic (27-6) were semifinal winners last night and will play at 7 p.m. tomorrow for the 30th Baltimore Catholic League Tournament championship at Goucher.

Goretti earned its first trip to the final since 1987, when the Rodney Monroe-led Gaels defeated Loyola, with their 56-53 victory over No. 12-ranked Mount St. Joseph (23-10) in last night's second game.

Towson Catholic struggled against Cardinal Gibbons before prevailing, 53-38, in the first game to gain their third appearance in the final in four years and the second in a row. The Owls last won the title in 1998.

In a matchup of two teams with Gaels as their nickname, the victors, in the words of coach Cokey Robertson, "dodged a bullet."

Robertson's top player scored only one point and his team was an uncharacteristic 6-for-16 from the line, but still had enough to win.

Rodney Gibson, Goretti's 6-foot-5 senior forward who was named the BCL Player of the Year, got into foul trouble and sat out most of the second half, finishing with only one point.

First team All-BCL junior Matt Tanner, Josh Carter and sophomore Derrick Davis picked up the slack, with 20, 13 and 11 points each, respectively.

Carter's free throw made it a 56-53 game with 18 seconds left after J. J. Outlaw, who led Mount St. Joseph with 15 points, made a three with 34 seconds remaining.

Kevin Mickens grabbed the rebound on Carter's miss on the free throw, and down at the other end, Outlaw's three-point attempt went in and out with eight seconds left.

Goretti's Matt Spierenburg was fouled immediately and missed both attempts with seven seconds to go, and the Mount's Marcus Johnson (13 points) pulled in the rebound.

Cory Copeland's desperation three-point attempt hit the back of the cylinder as time expired.

In a game much closer than the score indicates, Gibbons gave No. 5 ranked Towson Catholic all it could handle before bowing in the last two minutes.

Junior guard Darnell Hopkins, who had 15 of his 21 points in the Owls' 66-50 quarterfinal win over Calvert Hall in the second half Tuesday, scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the second half, 10 in the final period. Gibbons' Rocky Brown held the Owls' leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony to six points before fouling out.

The 6-foot-2 Brown shut out the 6-7 Anthony in the first and third periods. Brown got his fourth foul midway through the final period and his fifth with 1:58 left and the Owls up by six (41-35).

After Brown's exit, Anthony scored four from the line, and his only field goal was a slam with 25 seconds left.

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