In the first meeting with Mount St. Joseph, No. 8 Towson Catholic found out that moving the ball inside led to victory. In yesterday's rematch in Irvington, the Owls' inside game was not only successful, it was also dominant. Juniors James Burrell and Sharif Butler combined for 45 points in a 63-49 Catholic League victory.
The win keeps the Owls (12-10, 7-3) in second place in the Catholic League, two games behind leader Cardinal Gibbons. The Gaels (8-14 overall) dropped to 4-6 in the league.
"We knew we had success in the first game inside and we wanted to try it again this time," Towson Catholic coach Mike Daniel said. "It was working, so we kept going inside. We did a good job."
Burrell, who finished with a game-high 28 points, connected on 12 of 14 field-goal tries and Butler finished with 17 points, 10 coming in a overwhelming third-quarter show by the Owls.
Leading by 24-23 at halftime, the two Owls juniors took over the game in a third quarter that saw Towson Catholic outscore the home team by 20-7. Burrell hit all four of his field-goal tries in the quarter, and Butler hit five of seven.
For the quarter, the Owls hit 10 of 15, limiting Mount St. Joe to just one field goal in eight tries.
Towson Catholic held a 44-30 lead after the third quarter, and Burrell opened the final quarter with a drive in the lane and foul shot to open the lead to 17. Butler's short jumper in the lane seconds later made it 49-30 with less than seven minutes to play.
Mount St. Joe, which hit 17 of 54 shots for the game, closed the margin to 11 points on three occasions in the fourth quarter, but could not get closer.
"They're a physically talented team," Gaels coach Pat Maggio said. "It was no secret, they just beat us inside. And then we weren't sharp offensively, and that hurt too."
The Gaels, who like to bomb from three-point range, were 6-for-20 from that distance, and four of those came in the final quarter when the outcome had all but been decided.
"They just weren't hitting those trifectas today," Daniel said.
Trailing throughout the first quarter, Mount St. Joseph tied the game on a four-point play from junior Tim Trotta midway in the second quarter. Then junior guard Donte Abron, who led the Gaels with 16 points, led a seven-point run that moved the Gaels ahead by 21-16 with less than three minutes to play before halftime.
But the Owls closed the half with six straight points on baskets by Burrell, Richard Rhinehart and Butler to take the one-point halftime lead. When Butler and Burrell scored the first 10 points of the third quarter, the Owls were rolling at 34-25 less than three minutes into the second half.
Elsewhere in the Catholic League:
Warren Parker scored 22 points and Jerry Hunt added 20 to lead No. 6 Loyola (16-7, 7-3) to a 73-68 victory over visiting St. Frances (7-11, 4-6). Phil Dixon led the Panthers with 19 points.
Quinton Moody's 21 points led No. 7 Cardinal Gibbons (18-10, 9-1) to a 67-59 win over host St. Maria Goretti (10-12, 3-8).
Greg Metrinko scored 19 points to lead No. 14 Calvert Hall (12-7, 6-3) to a 69-52 victory over visiting Archbishop Curley (5-15, 0-10). Chris Wilson added 18 for the Cardinals.