Lee's free throws lift Cardinals in OT

Calvert Hall's Jackson's 29 help beat St. Frances, 67-62

March 01, 2010|By By Glenn Graham

Calvert Hall senior forward Donya Jackson has long been known for his fine work on defense, being recognized as the Baltimore Catholic League's Defensive Player of the Year the past two seasons.

In Sunday's BCL semifinal against No. 1 and defending league champ St. Frances, it was Jackson's impressive performance at the other end that helped the Cardinals advance to tonight's league title game.

Jackson scored 29 points - 15 in the fourth quarter and overtime play and fellow senior Damion Lee hit three key free throws in the final seconds of overtime to lift the Cardinals past St. Frances, 67-62.

Calvert Hall (20-7) will meet Mount St. Joseph, a 53-45 winner over Cardinal Gibbons in Sunday's other semifinal, at 7 tonight at Loyola University's Reitz Arena.

The Cardinals will make their 13th appearance in the title game - their first since 1997 - in a bid to win their sixth title.

"I'm really proud of the poise we showed in the overtime," Calvert Hall coach John Bauersfeld said. "It's not easy when you give up a big lead and we were able to respond. Donya hit some huge shots for us - he's been playing unbelievably of late - and Damion Lee also hit some big free throws.

"It's a fantastic opportunity we have [tonight] against another good team. We had high expectations going into the season, had some bumps along the way, but we have a chance and we'll be ready to play."

After the Panthers (22-9) rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit - tying the game with 13 seconds left in regulation on two free throws from Wayne Sparrow - the Cardinals regrouped in overtime.

Trailing 65-62 with 11 seconds left in overtime, the Panthers had one last chance, but the bench called timeout when the team didn't have one, which was a technical foul giving the Cardinals two free throws - both made by Lee - and the ball.

The game was tight throughout the first half, and the biggest lead belonged to Calvert Hall when Lee hit a free throw in the final minute of the first quarter to give the Cardinals a 16-12 lead. But the Panthers stayed close with good aim beyond the arc, hitting five 3-pointers in the first half - two each from Sam Cassell Jr. and Sparrow.

No. 2 Mount St. Joseph 53, Cardinal Gibbons 45: The top-seeded Gaels brought just enough to their semifinal against the pesky Crusaders, surviving a scare to come away with a victory.

Senior point guard Eric Atkins scored 22 points and senior Matt Miller added 15 to offset a 27-point performance from Cardinal Gibbons senior Dylan Cormier.

In improving to 30-3 this season, the Gaels led from start to finish - able to get the necessary separation anytime Cardinal Gibbons (12-15) got close.

Twice midway through the fourth quarter, the Crusaders cut the Gaels' lead to three points and had the ball, but they weren't able to get closer. Miller and Atkins both hit two free throws in consecutive trips to build a 48-41 lead that was maintained at the foul line the rest of the way.

"I told the kids it was our 30th win of the year and that's an accomplishment, but at the same time I was really disappointed with our effort and intensity. It was on the defensive end and the offensive end, where we were very casual and blase. There was no flow, and we played just well enough to win," Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey said.

4 Calvert Hall 67, 1 St. Frances 62 (OT)

CH – Graham 11, Lee 16, Jackson 29, Cook 4, K. Wise 7. Totals: 20 24-33 67.

SF – Holmes 8, Sparrow 18, Williams 4, Lewis 10, Cassell Jr. 17, Brown 3, Goines 2. Totals: 20 12-14 62.Half: CH, 25-23.

2 Mount St. Joseph 53, Gibbons 45

G – Cormier 27, Kemp 2, Fisher 14, Smith 2. Totals: 20 5-7 45.

MSJ – Atkins 22, Beaumont 6, Miller 15, Windsor 2, Stephenson 3, Clinton 5. Totals: 18 14-22 53. Half: MSJ, 24-18.

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