It was five-on-five through three periods in Irvington last night. Then it was more like 11-on-5 as the depth of No. 7 Mount St. Joseph took its toll on slumping Severn School in the last period.
Eleven players scored and 10 of them grabbed a rebound or more as the Gaels (3-0) pulled away from game Severn with a 12-4 run in the final eight minutes and posted a 68-52 victory.
Backcourt aces Cory McNeill and Aaron Bowles combined for 20 points, while forward Torrey Butler tossed in a dozen points to match McNeill and James Baronas chipped in 10. Bowles led his team with six boards.
"We're pretty deep, and we try to get through the first half in pretty good shape, almost as if it is an investment," said fifth-year St. Joe coach Pat Clatchey.
"We thought our depth would be a factor and didn't think they were quite as deep as we are both in the backcourt and up front. When we got our run, that really showed."
Clinging to a 33-31 lead at the half, and a 44-41 advantage after three periods, the Mount simply wore the Admirals down in the final moments of play.
Severn's standout junior guard, Dennard Melton, scored 14 of his team-high 25 points in the first half and added six in the third before sputtering with his mates. His last score was a meaningless three at the final buzzer.
Falling to 1-3 overall, the Admirals played six to seven guys while St. Joe's bench was like a turnstile with fresh legs constantly in and out. After getting their fair share of second and third shots in the first half, the Admirals were dominated on the boards in the second half, 22-9.
Sixteen of those boards came on Severn's offensive side and resulted in a bundle of transition scores for the Gaels.
"We scrapped on the boards," said Clatchey. "I thought in the first half they were aggressive and pounded us on the boards. But the second half, we did a much better job and were able to get the ball out and run. Our guards, Cory and Aaron, are pretty good finishers and I thought we played poised and under control down the stretch."
"They just had more guys coming off the bench," said Severn coach Charles "Tank" Duckett. "We played pretty well for three quarters, but they started taking some things away and we started to foul and we got tired.
"The key to our team is rebounding the ball and we didn't win that game, and we turned the ball over too many times. They didn't beat us by having better athletes. They just ran things better."
Duckett's Admirals have lost two of their games to ranked teams in St. Joe and No. 4 Calvert Hall (4-0), and the other to archrival St. Mary's, which is off to a 4-1 start.
Pub Date: 12/12/96