Severn's boys basketball team struggled from the field, but buried the necessary free throws yesterday as it turned away visiting Archbishop Curley, 40-38, in the quarterfinals of the Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference Tournament.

The Admirals (15-7) converted only 16 of 49 shots from the floor but netted three of their last four foul shots to advance to tomorrow's 7 p.m. semifinal matchup at St.Paul's.

With only seven players dressed for the game, Curley (8-24) welcomed Severn's zone defense. The Friars took advantage of the game's slow pace and the Admirals' poor shooting to take an 11-6 lead after one period.

Severn's shooting woes carried over into the second quarter, when it converted just 5 of 16 attempts. Fortunately for the hosts, Curley was equally as cold, connecting on just 5 of 13 shots.

The Admirals managed to tie the game at 19-19 in the waning seconds of the first half when forward Granden Ripley followed up a Jake Mack foul shot, but the Friars answered with a bucket, giving them a 21-19lead at the half.

"We didn't get the game as uptempo as much as we would have liked to," said Severn coach Jim Doyle. "I knew they were thin in numbers, and I saw that they were breathing heavy at the half so we wanted to push the ball up the court on them."

The two teams exchanged buckets throughout the third quarter that ended with the Friars out front by one, 30-29.

Mack, who finished the contest with 11 points, opened the fourth quarter with an 8-foot jumper to regain the lead for the Admirals. Severn's lead was short-lived, however, as the Friars struck back with a three-pointer.

Mack banged homeanother eight-footer on Severn's next possession to tie the game, and the Admirals once again took the lead following a turnover by Curley. On the play, Jason Moran stole an errant pass and took it the distance for the easy layup to put the hosts out front, 35-33.

Brian Bowen, who finished as the Friars' leading scorer with 13 points, sank3 of 4 foul shots in the last two minutes to help keep Curley's hopes alive.

With the score tied, 38-38, and 1 minute, 54 seconds showing on the clock, the Admirals continued to squander opportunities ontheir offensive end of court. However, Severn received two crucial blocked shots from Mack and another from center Brendan Haggerty to keep the score in a deadlock.

After using two timeouts, the Admiralsopted to drive the ball to the hoop for the last shot with 10 seconds remaining. Moran fielded the ball at midcourt and raced up the middle where he drew a foul from Curley's Jeremy Parr. Moran, who led allscorers with 15, sank both ends of the one-and-one, but there was notime to celebrate.

The Friars opted to used their final timeout to set up one last shot. It was off the mark however, giving the Admirals the right to celebrate.

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