Cardinal Gibbons senior Quintin Moody, hounded by a shooting slump for nearly two weeks, broke out at the right time last night at Calvert Hall, leading the No. 7 Crusaders to a 52-51 Catholic League victory over the No. 14 Cardinals.
Moody, who finished with 19 points on seven-for-12 shooting, bunched nine of them into the final quarter, including six in the final two minutes, when Gibbons (17-10 overall) staved off a Cardinals rally to improve to 8-1 atop the Catholic League. Calvert Hall (11-8) dropped to 5-4 in the league.
"I've been trying not to think about [the shooting slump]," said Moody, whose 15-foot baseline jumper and subsequent free throw put the Crusaders ahead to stay, 48-46, with 1 minute and 52 seconds left. "Coach [Ray Mullis] told me to keep on shooting but usually I don't play too well over here. But during the game I decided to take it to them and I felt like I was getting it back."
In addition to the big game from Moody, senior Chucky Lee chipped in 16 points and Damon Fleary had 10 points and an outstanding defensive effort for Gibbons.
"When Calvert Hall took the lead, Quintin stepped up and hit some tough shots and free throws," said Mullis. "Calvert Hall played like a rat in a corner. They kept clawing back like they always do against us here. But our defense, especially Damon Fleary was very strong. It could have been our best defensive game of the season."
The Cardinals, having trailed after taking a brief 2-0 lead at the game's outset, finally regained the lead, 46-45, on a basket and free throw from Chris Wilson (13 points) with a little more than two minutes left.
"We hung in and kept our poise," said Moody. "We were psyched coming in here. We didn't want to lose two league games in a row."
Moody then pumped in the next five points on a pair of medium jumpers and a free throw, and Calvert Hall could get no closer than the final score on a three-pointer by Jeremy Baker with two seconds left.
Senior Luther Alexander led the Cardinals with 16 points and Baker added 10.
Calvert Hall scored the first basket of the game and then fell behind, 10-2, as Gibbons' pressure defense held the Cardinals without another basket for just over six minutes. Gibbons held a 12-8 lead after one quarter in spite of five-for-22 shooting from the field. Calvert Hall managed only eight field-goal attempts in the opening quarter, with Brian Matz making the only two.
Calvert Hall closed the early Crusader lead to 12-10 early in the second quarter. Then after Gibbons had built an 18-10 lead with just over four minutes left in the second quarter, Calvert Hall outscored Gibbons 8-1 in less than two minutes to close to within a point, 19-18 with 2:30 left in the half.
The Crusaders then bunched the final seven points of the half into the last two minutes with Moody's short jumper in the lane closing the half with Gibbons on top, 26-18.