Malcolm Delaney hit his third three-pointer in the fourth quarter to give No. 3-ranked Towson Catholic a 10-point lead that appeared to put away visiting McDonogh last night.
But the No. 12 Eagles refused to surrender and got within three points with 10 seconds remaining before losing, 45-41, in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game. The game matched two unbeaten teams that are young and talented.
Delaney had a game-high 18 points, 10 in the last eight minutes, against the Eagles (6-1), whom he started for last year as a freshman before transferring to Towson Catholic (6-0).
"I tried to come out and play hard against my old school," said Delaney, a guard.
"I was trying too hard, but I got it together in the second half and we pulled out the win. I give the big men a lot of credit, Donte' [Greene], Kyle [Cannon] and Lawrence [Nwevo] setting screens for me to get good looks on those threes.
"All those guys at McDonogh are still my friends and we were fine during and after the game."
Greene was the Owls' second-leading scorer with 16 points and four blocked shots. Greene, a post player, scored six of his points in the final period, on a put-back, a fade-away jumper and a pair from the free-throw line.
His three three-pointers were capped by his free throw with six seconds remaining after the Eagles had made it a three-point game.
"I think Malcolm was a little hyper in the first half, but he settled down in the second half and played [his style of] ball," said Owls coach Mike Daniel.
Daniel wasn't totally pleased with his team's performance however.
"We played good enough to win," Daniel said. "We're young and make some crazy mistakes, but that's part of being young guys.
"I never believed the hype about our team. We've still got to prove ourselves out on the floor. We're talented, but we've got a lot to do."
Daniel also credited McDonogh for coming back on the road and said, "You've got to give them a lot of credit."
McDonogh's top two scorers are also sophomores: junior DaJuan Summers, who had a team-high 16 points with five down the stretch, and Joe Yermal, who finished with nine points.
The Eagles fell apart because of poor free-throw shooting as they hit just five of 14 attempts and failed to take advantage of the Owls' poor field-goal shooting in the third period.
Towson Catholic had a 23-15 halftime lead thanks to late baskets by Greene and Delaney, but hit only two of 16 shots from the field in the third period.
McDONOGH --Summers 16, Yermal 9, Lott 1, Giles 4, Herbert 8, Banks 3. Totals 16 5-14 41. TOWSON CATHOLIC--Mitchell 5, Cannon 6, Delaney 18, Greene 16. Totals 18 5-7 45. Half: TC, 23-15.