Of the two leagues in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association, there's supposed to be a big difference in the level of play -- A being much better than B.
But try getting that one by Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci, whose No. 2 Cardinals (7-1), of the A conference, got all they could handle in last night's 57-49 victory at 15th-ranked B conference contender St. Paul's (5-2).
The Cardinals needed every bit of the talent belonging to 6-foot-3, All-Metro, University of Maryland-bound guard Juan Dixon, who scored 29 points to go with eight assists and was 6-for-7 at the line (Calvert Hall was 16-for-20 overall).
Aaron Herbert (10 points, six assists) and 6-3 sophomore guard Reggie Bryant (eight points, five boards) contributed heavily against the Crusaders, who got balanced scoring from Justin Singleton (10 points, nine rebounds), Chad Unitas (10 points), Adair Newhall (nine, six rebounds), and, with eight points each, Mike Satyshur (two three-pointers) and Conor Gill.
"Last weekend, we beat the No. 1 team in D.C. [Anacostia, ranked No. 25 by USA Today,] but we came here and got a scare," Amatucci said. "St. Paul's took one on the chin against [B conference rival] McDonogh on Monday, but they played hard and were a great team tonight."
The Cardinals led by as many as nine in the first quarter, only to allow the Crusaders a 7-0 run -- capped by Singleton's period-ending jumper -- to shrink the deficit to 17-15 for the second period.
Dixon (eight assists, five steals) scored the first 12 of Calvert Hall's 14 second-period points, including a 10-0 run for a 29-19 lead that featured his consecutive three-pointers.
But with four points each in an 8-2 run, Singleton and Newhall brought St. Paul's within 31-27 at halftime.
"We'd play in spurts: They'd go up, we'd come back," said coach Rick Collins, whose Crusaders' momentum was severely damaged in the third period when Newhall -- who fouled out with 10 seconds to play -- picked up his third and fourth fouls.
Pub Date: 12/19/96