Judge Memorial bumps Mount St. Joseph, 58-52

Bulldogs control tempo in blow to No. 3 Gaels

Alhambra Invitational

High Schools

March 14, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FROSTBURG - Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey leaned against the wall outside his team's dressing room yesterday and sighed. Judge Memorial Catholic High School had just given Clatchey's Gaels a painful lesson on the value of patience in basketball, and it was difficult to watch.

Joe Sasich scored a game-high 27 points for Judge, and the Bulldogs controlled the tempo in the second half after taking the lead, pulling No. 3 Mount St. Joseph out of its game en route to a 58-52 victory over the Gaels in the first round of the 43rd Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament at Frostburg State.

Mount St. Joseph (28-4) meets Cathedral High from Ontario tonight at 5:45 in a consolation semifinal. The Gaels now can do no better than winning the consolation round.

The Gaels hadn't played in nine days since beating No. 7 Archbishop Spalding in the finals of the Baltimore Catholic League tourney. That was the school's first championship in that league - it also won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference - but the Gaels looked flat throughout this game.

"I was disappointed with our intensity," Clatchey said. "They're the kind of team that's difficult to play against once they get the lead. They're patient and they don't make mistakes."

The game went back and forth in the first half with Judge holding a 29-28 halftime lead. But the Bulldogs held the ball for long stretches and stopped St. Joe from the running game it loves.

The Bulldogs held a 39-36 lead with 1:15 left in the period before the 6-foot-7 Sasich took charge. He made a soft bank shot with two seconds left in the period and followed that with a layup 15 seconds into the fourth quarter for a 43-36 lead.

Sasich later made a turnaround jumper to start a six-point run that gave Judge (20-6) a 51-42 lead with 2:12 left. The Bulldogs simply spread the court out on every possession and waited calmly for high-percentage shots - and they often got them.

"We can't get into a track meet with any of these teams here," Judge assistant coach Dan Del Porto said. "Slowing it down is kind of our game plan, especially when we get the lead."

Keon Lattimore led the Gaels with 15 points and Will Thomas added 13.

In the final game of the night, Bishop O'Connell beat Cathedral, 93-61.

J-Larson 2, Giovacchini 14, Burks 5, Proctor 10, Sasich 27. Totals 22 13-25 58. MSJ-Fair 4, Goodwin 2, Horne 4, Johnson 11, Lattimore 15, Mack 3, Thomas 13. Totals 22 6-8 52. Half: J, 29-28.

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