Alhambra final stop for Mount St. Joseph

High Schools

Boys basketball

March 16, 2006|By PAT O'MALLEY | PAT O'MALLEY,SUN REPORTER

The top-ranked Mount St. Joseph boys basketball team will write the final chapter of its storybook season this weekend in Western Maryland.

The No. 1 Gaels (36-0), ranked No. 5 in the nation by USA Today in its Super 25 rankings, play at 4 p.m. today in the 46th Alhambra Catholic Invitational tournament against host Bishop Walsh of Cumberland at Frostburg State University.

DeMatha, an 18-time Alhambra champion with its most recent in 2002, is also in the tournament. The Stags (31-1), including Tuesday's DC City title victory, 87-57 over Cardozo, are ranked No. 4 by USA Today and No. 2 by The Washington Post.

Only three Baltimore-area teams have ever won the Alhambra with St. Frances the last in 1996 and the Gaels hope to become the fourth and complete what would be the winningest season in state history.

"I told our kids regardless of what happens at the Alhambra, it's been an unbelievable season and something they can always be proud of," Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey said.

"If we come back 39-0, I just might walk back from Cumberland."

The Gaels' next win would tie the state record for most wins in a season set by the 1999-2000 Riverdale Baptist team that went 37-7 under coach Louis Wilson.

With a victory over Bishop Walsh, the Gaels would play the winner of tonight's game between three-time defending champion Bishop O'Connell of Arlington, Va., and St. Joseph's Prep of Philadelphia at 7:30 tomorrow night.

O'Connell (20-10), coached by Joe Wootten, the son of former DeMatha coach Morgan Wootten, is looking to match DeMatha as the only teams to win at least four straight titles. DeMatha holds the record of five in a row from 1977 to 1981.

Alhambra tournament

Schedule

At Frostburg State University

Today

Mount St. Joseph vs. Bishop Walsh, 4 p.m. Roman Catholic vs. St. John's (D.C.), 5:45 p.m. Bishop O'Connell (Va.) vs. St. Joseph's Prep (Pa.), 7:30 p.m. DeMatha vs. Judge Memorial (Utah), 9:15 p.m.

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