Delaney rescues Owls

Towson Catholic's D. Greene quiet in showcase for Syracuse recruits

Towson Catholic 70 Neumann-Goretti 65

Boys basketball

December 18, 2006|By Mike Waters | Mike Waters,Special to the Sun

Syracuse, N.Y. -- Towson Catholic senior Malcolm Delaney saved Donte' Greene a bunch of grief from two of his future Syracuse University teammates yesterday.

In what was supposed to be a showcase for the Syracuse-bound Greene, it was Delaney who brought Towson Catholic back from a 15-point, third-quarter deficit to beat Philadelphia's Neumann-Goretti High, 70-65, at Manley Field House on the Syracuse campus.

Delaney scored 29 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter as Towson Catholic (5-1 and ranked 20th in last week's USA Today poll) stunned No. 25 Neumann-Goretti (4-2) with a furious rally. Delaney, who will play at Virginia Tech next year, made 10 of 21 field-goal attempts.

Greene, who came in averaging 19.1 points per game, managed three points.

"Malcolm just put the team on his shoulders," Owls coach Josh Pratt said. "He knew what we needed and he had an outstanding second half."

Delaney's performance meant Greene, the 6-foot-9 senior who has signed with Syracuse University, had the last laugh on two of his future Orange teammates.

Neumann-Goretti seniors Rick Jackson and Antonio Jardine are headed to Syracuse as well.

"Oh, yeah, he had my back," Greene said of Delaney. "My teammates stepped up big time." Greene traded verbal barbs with Jackson and Jardine throughout the game. Jackson, a 6-foot-9 center, dominated inside for much of the game and finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds.

Jackson and Jardine appeared to have the upper hand as Neumann-Goretti led 49-34 with three minutes left in the third quarter. But Jardine, who finished with 10 points and seven assists, got into foul trouble and Towson Catholic, ranked No. 2 in The Sun's poll, turned up the defensive pressure.

"They had us," Towson Catholic junior Brandon Greene said. "They thought they won the game because they were talking trash. So that's when Malcolm was like `Let's show them what's up.' So that's what we did."

Brandon Greene finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, and Larry Bastfield scored 22 for the Owls.

Pratt said Donte' Greene put too much pressure on himself to do well in front of the Syracuse crowd.

"He's very excited to come to Syracuse and he knew why we were here today," Pratt said. "That's a lot of pressure to put on an 18-year-old. But he'll bounce back."

The three Syracuse recruits met yesterday as part of the HoopHall Classic, a high school quadruple-header featuring all five of Syracuse's Class of 2007 recruits.

Greene said he often trades phone calls or text messages with Jardine and Jackson.

"He'll probably call me tonight, talking trash," Jackson said of Greene. "I probably won't answer it, duck him for a little while."

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