Mt. St. Joseph leaves McDonogh short in taking A title, 52-46

B goes to Gilman again

Mount Carmel is C champ

Boys basketball

High Schools

February 21, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Mount St. Joseph always seems to find a way. Certainly, the top-ranked Gaels did so yesterday in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference final at Villa Julie College, rallying to beat No. 5 McDonogh, 52-46.

It was Mount St. Joe's second A Conference title in three years. The Gaels (28-2) will go after their third straight Baltimore Catholic League championship this weekend in the tournament at Loyola College.

Junior guard Chase Adams called the Gaels' refuse-to-lose attitude "a liberating experience." Adams, who had seven points and five rebounds, added, "A lot of teams break down under pressure. Not us. We stick together."

The Gaels trailed 25-19 at the half, mainly because of 11 first-period points by McDonogh's DaJuan Summers, who led his team with 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds, despite being in foul trouble.

McDonogh still led 39-35 after three periods, but Mount St. Joe stayed patient and took its first lead of the game at 44-43 on Greg Woody's three-point play with 4:58 left.

"This is truly a team that believes in each other and doesn't care who gets the credit," said Gaels coach Pat Clatchey. "They believe they're going to win no matter what the situation, and they did it again today against a well-coached and very good McDonogh team."

The Eagles (23-6) tied it at 44 on a free throw by Brandon Herbert, but when Herbert missed the second foul shot, Louis Birdsong grabbed the rebound.

Birdsong, a 6-foot-6 junior who scored 13 of his 14 points in the second half - seven in the last period - sprinted to the other end and gave the Gaels the lead for good at 46-44 with 3:20 remaining.

On McDonogh's next possession, Birdsong, who also had seven rebounds and three blocked shots, blocked a shot by Summers with 2:56 left. Some 16 seconds later, Adams fed the ball to Birdsong for a 48-44 Gaels lead.

Summers was charged with his fourth foul with 1:32 left in the third period and took a seat until about six minutes were left in the game. Another McDonogh starter, Tony Lott, who had nine points, was assessed his fourth foul with 1:55 left in the third.

"Not having two players like that in the game and then, having them come back and play with four fouls, really hurt us," said McDonogh coach Matt MacMullan, whose Eagles' season is over.

"But we're proud of this team. They accomplished more than any team we've had in my 12 years."

B Conference final

Gilman 51, Boys' Latin 40: The Greyhounds repeated as conference champion by pulling away from Boys' Latin in the middle of the final period.

Junior Ben Goetsch and senior Travis Hale combined for 24 points to pace Gilman (24-7), which extended a 40-35 lead with 3:05 left. The Greyhounds, who led 28-26 at the half, pushed their lead to 49-35 with two minutes left and coasted from there.

"Our defense really picked it up and our press wore them down, `' said Gilman coach Tony Jordan. "And I have to give credit to our bench for the job they did."

James Neal led Boys' Latin with 12 points, followed by Troy Franklin with nine.

C Conference final

Mount Carmel 60, Park 52: The Cougars (23-6) won their first conference title by beating the Bruins (22-3).

Brandon Baylor led Mount Carmel with 22 points, followed by 16 from Marcus Zuffa and 15 from Mario Kovacevic.

"Our defense really picked it up in the last quarter and we went inside," said winning coach Tom Rose. "Our school won a basketball title back in 1983, so this is special because we only have 275 kids."

Zack White and Paul Weitz totaled 21 points for the Bruins.

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