Calvert Hall, Neal seize victory handily, 63-48

Cardinals record 14 steals against Cardinal Gibbons

Boys basketball

January 12, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

With its smothering defense, the Calvert Hall boys basketball team took advantage of some sloppy ball-handling by host Cardinal Gibbons to post a 63-48 victory last night at the Coach Ray Mullis Gym in southwest Baltimore.

Guard Gary Neal led Calvert Hall with 23 points and Pierre Jones scored 12.

But it was 14 steals by the Calvert Hall, coupled with 20 turnovers by the Crusaders, that allowed the Cardinals to overcome the play of Dwight Dean, who had a game-high 26 points and 13 rebounds for Gibbons.

"We're playing very well defensively," said Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci. "I don't think we have given up more than 50 points for a while. We know that if we come out and play well defensively we're going to be in every game, no matter how bad our shots are going."

No. 6 Calvert Hall (14-3) lifted its record in both the Baltimore Catholic League and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference to 4-0, while No. 17 Gibbons (9-8) slipped to 1-2 in both leagues, much to the chagrin of coach Bob Flynn.

"That's something they are very, very good at and well-coached at," said Flynn of Calvert Hall's defense.

Calvert Hall had an 11-4 lead after the first quarter, with Neal scoring seven of his 13 first-half points in that stretch.

But Neal picked up his second foul and sat on the bench as the Hall took a 24-16 lead to the break.

Midway through the third quarter, Neal's three-point play gave the Cardinals a 37-24 lead, and they subsequently took a 45-37 lead into the fourth.

Dean's two-handed dunk off his steal cut the Crusaders' deficit to 41-37. But Calvert Hall baskets by Vince Delaney and Demetric Phillips closed the third.

Luke McCrone, the only other Crusader in double figures with 12 points and 10 rebounds, scored six points in the third despite playing with four fouls. McCrone fouled out.

A pair of free throws, followed by an inside basket by Jones pushed the Cardinals' lead to 58-45 with 3:15 left, and the victors cruised from there.

"We played fairly well offensively, but we are still sometimes too impatient in our half-court offense," Amatucci said.

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