Mt. St. Joseph holds off McDonogh

No. 1 Gaels hit 20 wins, topping No. 5 Eagles, 53-47

Boys basketball

High Schools

February 01, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Before every game after their warm-ups, the No. 1 Mount St. Joseph boys basketball team members put their hands in a circle and, together on the count of three, shout "family."

It was the idea of senior Courtney Thomas. The shout affirms the Gaels' commitment to playing as a family with everybody contributing. It was evident in last night's 53-47 victory over No. 5 McDonogh in Irvington.

It gave the Gaels (20-1) and coach Pat Clatchey their ninth consecutive 20-win season and kept them unbeaten in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference at 9-0.

Despite 23 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots by 6-foot-8 junior DaJuan Summers and 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks by Tony Lott, the Eagles (17-5) slipped to 7-5 (two losses to Mount St. Joseph) in the A Conference.

The Gaels, also unbeaten in the Baltimore Catholic League (7-0), have established themselves as not only the metro area's top team but also one of the most unselfish and balanced teams.

"Unselfishness is our game," said Greg Woody, who made three of four free-throw attempts in the last 33 seconds to thwart McDonogh's rally.

"We jell. Everybody on this team is unselfish. We share the ball and that's why we win."

The Gaels are still a balanced team despite playing without two starters. Thomas, who expects to return next week, and junior guard Dejuan Goodwin, out for the season, are each dealing with left knee injuries.

"We had some guys really step up," said Clatchey, whose Gaels led 29-20 at the half and kept a steady lead pretty much the rest of the way.

Junior guard Chase Adams led the Gaels with 12 points followed by point guard Brian Johnson with 10 points that featured buzzer-beaters at the end of the first (two-pointer) and second (three-pointer) quarters.

"I thought Chase Adams played a really nice game for us and even the two freshmen [brought up from JV for Thomas and Goodwin], Henry Sims and Justin McCoy, played well for us," Clatchey said. "They're not playing a lot of minutes, but the minutes they're playing are valuable."

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