Rob Bouse is only 5 feet 6, but he stood mighty tall last night.
Bouse scored 26 points, including six three-pointers, as St. Paul's (18-2, 10-0) kept its Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference record unblemished with a 57-55 victory over host Boys' Latin (9-10, 6-2).
"I haven't been shooting well from three-point range lately, and what you saw tonight was the product of me shooting 200 three-pointers in the gym last night [Thursday]," he said.
Bouse led all scorers, and Shane Tanzymore added 14 for St. Paul's. Stan Ross scored 17 and Gene Lower 15 for Boys' Latin.
The Lakers looked as if they were up to the challenge early, using two three-pointers by Chris Krastel and three layups by Ross to take a 12-4 lead, but the Crusaders scored the next 12 points, six of them on two three-pointers by Bouse to go up, 16-14.
Bouse opened the second quarter with another three-pointer to run the St. Paul's lead to 19-14, but Boys' Latin rallied to go ahead, 22-19, on seven points by Jason Walpert and a free throw by Krastel. St. Paul's trailed, 27-25, before Ross' layup sent the Lakers to the locker room with a 29-25 lead.
Bouse opened the second half with a field goal from 10 feet, but Boys' Latin ran off six straight to make the score 35-27.
The Crusaders answered again. Bouse hit two three-pointers, wrapped around a turnaround jumper by Tanzymore, to tie the score at 37. After St. Paul's took a 37-35 lead, the Lakers scored the last four points of the quarter to lead, 39-37, after three quarters.
The teams traded baskets until Gene Lower gave the Crusaders a 47-46 lead with 3 minutes, 35 seconds left.
The Crusaders scored nine of the next 11 points, five by Bouse and four by Tanzymore, to stretch the margin to 55-49 with 1:21 left. Boys' Latin crept within 55-54 before Bouse hit two free throws with two seconds left, sealing the victory.
"Any time you can come in here and win like that, it's a big win," St. Paul's coach Rick Collins said. "When it gets down to clutch time we go to Robby, and he came through."