Phil Booth hit back-to-back 3-pointers late in the game to get the No. 3 Mount St. Joseph boys basketball team within striking distance of Bishop Denis J. O'Connell (Va.). But the Gaels' final, potentially game- winning 3-point attempt with 3.7 seconds left bounced off the rim and the Gaels fell, 70-68, in the opening round of the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in Cumberland on Thursday.
"I was disappointed in the result, but not disappointed in the effort," Gaels coach Pat Clatchey said. "We were trading 3s for their 1s or 2s."
A closely contested first half ended in a 34-all tie. O'Connell (28-7) built a seven-point lead in the third quarter that the Gaels (30-7) chipped away at in the fourth quarter. The Knights were in the double bonus at that point of the game and were making 50 percent of their free throws. Mount St. Joseph used 3-pointers to close the gap.
Ohio State-bound Kameron Williams had 23 points and Booth finished with 15 points for the Gaels.
Mount St. Joseph faces DeMatha, which lost, 51-50, to USA Today's eighth-ranked LaLumiere (Ind.), in today's second round at 5:45 p.m.
Benedictine (Va.) 60, No. 2 St. Frances 43: The Cadets (32-4) built a 16-point halftime advantage that the Panthers (31-6) could not overcome in the second half at the Alhambra tournament.
Benedictine led 34-18 at halftime. St.Frances faces host Bishop Walsh, which lost, 67-46, to Gonzaga (D.C.), today at 4 p.m.
Mercy 15, Maryvale Prep 0: Right-handed winner Kirsten Barstad (1-0) worked five innings and struck out 13.