Gibbons beats No. 1 Mt. St. Joe

No. 2 Crusaders break hex of 8 losses in row to Gaels

MIAA A Conference basketball semifinals

High Schools

February 22, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Visiting Cardinal Gibbons upset top-ranked Mount St. Joseph, 60-51, yesterday in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference boys basketball semifinal.

No. 2 Gibbons had lost eight in a row to the Gaels, with their previous win a 53-52 decision at home on Feb. 18, 2000.

The Crusaders (27-5) will play No. 3 Archbishop Spalding (24-6) at 8 tomorrow night at Gilman for the A Conference title. Spalding edged No. 4 St. Frances (24-6), 62-59, in the other semifinal.

Gibbons' Leon Williams had 11 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, including 11 on the defensive end. The 6-foot-8 Williams got the best of the Gaels' 6-7 Will Thomas, who had nine points and 10 rebounds.

Mount St. Joseph (25-4) came from 10 down in the last three minutes and got within 52-51 with 1:35 remaining. Williams then led a 9-0 run with four points to close it.

"We can play with anybody and proved it today," said Williams. "Whoever thinks we can't, [they] don't know what they're talking about. We've been through a lot, and this feels great."

Brian Johnson's 12 points led the Gaels, while Courtney Thomas and L.J. Mack combined for 21 points.

Gibbons shot 42 percent on 23 of 55 attempts and also got a big game from guard Clinton Sellers and its bench.

Sellers, a 5-8 junior, scored all eight of his points in the second half. He also had six assists.

"Our bench did a great job when we really needed it," said coach Bob Flynn, who has led Gibbons to 27 wins for the first time since the 1984-85 team (32-8) under the late Ray Mullis.

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