Panthers upset Gaels on road

Behind Mosley, St. Frances deals No. 1 Mt. St. Joe its first area loss since 2005

No. 5 St. Frances 67 No. 1 Mount St. Joseph 63

Boys basketball

December 23, 2006|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

St. Frances senior Aric Brooks said the problem with playing Mount St. Joseph was usually what happened after halftime. But not last night in Irvington, as the visiting Panthers upset the top-ranked Gaels, 67-63.

Two-time All-Metro pick Sean Mosley had a game-high 23 points, seven in the final period for the No. 5 Panthers (7-1, 3-0).

It was the Gaels' first loss to an area team since eventual champion St. Frances beat them on Feb. 27, 2005, in the Baltimore Catholic League tournament semifinals.

Last season, Mount St. Joseph set state records for most consecutive wins and most total wins, going 38-0 before losing its final game to DeMatha in the Alhambra final.

Going into last night, the Gaels were 6-0 to give them 44 wins in their past 45 games, and were 75-5 over the past three years. They were riding a 20-game winning streak in league play since the St. Frances loss in 2005.

"Every year we play Mount St. Joe, they always beat us [four straight regular-season losses] in the second half," said Brooks, who hit four straight free throws in the final 20 seconds last night as the Panthers made 11 of 13 from the line in the last eight minutes of play.

"We came out in the first half with a lot of intensity, and I think the second half was the most important part of the game for us tonight," he added. "The tension between us and Mount St. Joe is real high."

Gaels coach Pat Clatchey cited his club's losing four starters from last season and credited St. Frances, saying: "They didn't cooperate and made those free throws down the stretch. Our team is young and inexperienced, but I was proud of our effort against a very good team."

With Mosley, a 6-foot-4 junior swingman, scoring 14 of his points, St. Frances led 33-31 at the half. A three-pointer by Tyrin Phyall gave the Panthers the two-point lead.

The third period belonged to Mount St. Joseph's big men, 6-8 Dino Gregory and 6-10 Henry Sims, as the Gaels outscored the Panthers 16-15 to trail 48-47 going into the final quarter.

Gregory had 10 of his 16 points and Sims had four of his team-high 17 points to go with 10 rebounds in the third period.

St. Frances hit its free throws down the stretch, as Mount St. Joseph got a trio of three-pointers by Jamell Walker to start the last period, but couldn't sustain it.

"We've been underdogs for a while, but we showed who's the No. 1 team right now," Mosley said. "We played as a team."

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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