Top-ranked Towson Catholic continued its unbeaten run through the Baltimore Catholic League with a 76-32 romp over St. Maria Goretti in the quarterfinals of the 36th BCL tournament at Loyola College yesterday.
But the big story of the first day was seventh-seeded Archbishop Spalding upsetting second-seeded and fourth-ranked St. Frances, 57-56, on Kevon Moore's free throw with three seconds left.
Spalding (10-21) will take on third-seeded and No. 2 Mount St. Joseph (24-7) in tonight's late semifinal at 8:45.
Mount St. Joseph, the defending champion, hung on to nip sixth-seeded Loyola, 46-44, and avoid another upset by the Dons (16-12).
The Owls, who are 15-0 in the league this season and 29-4 overall, advanced to tonight's first semifinal, at 7, vs. Cardinal Gibbons (17-12).
Archbishop Spalding 57, No. 4 St. Frances 56 -- The Cavaliers played inspired basketball buzzer to buzzer to stun the Panthers (22-10). The Cavaliers had a 26-23 lead at the half and 37-34 going into the final eight minutes, building a 56-46 lead with 1:08 remaining. "St. Frances is a very talented team and showed how easy and quick they can score," said Dale Chambers, Spalding's first-year coach. "We did a great job playing defense until the last two minutes. Kevon stepped up for us and now we want to go 3-0." Aric Brooks, who had a game-high 24 points for St. Frances, scored eight points in the final minute, and his drive through the lane with 16 seconds left tied it at 56. Brooks then fouled out, sending the Cavaliers' Moore to the line with three seconds on the clock. Moore missed the first of two. But the left-hander made the next one for a 57-56 Spalding lead and the Cavaliers held their breath as St. Frances' Sean Mosley (13 points) launched a three from just past midcourt. The shot went over the rim and caromed off the backboard as the buzzer sounded. "Nerves were a big factor on the first free throw, but I stepped up and made the second," said Moore, who had 10 points, as did Nick Desouza. "We controlled the tempo and slowed them down." Brad Bald led Spalding with 15 points and William Alston added 13.
Towson Catholic 76, St. Maria Goretti 32 -- The Owls, who won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference with a 17-0 record, are attempting to match the undefeated run in both leagues by Mount St. Joseph last season. In yesterday's romp over the Gaels (11-19) of Hagerstown ,the Owls placed four starters in double digits, with McDonald's All-American Donte Greene's 12 leading the way. Malcolm Delaney, the BCL Jerry Savage Player of the Year, had 11 points, as did sophomore LaShon Edwards. Greene's cousin, Brandon Greene, had 10 points.
No. 2 Mount St. Joseph 46, Loyola 44 -- Freshman Eric Atkins' free throw with 16 seconds left gave the Gaels a 44-41 lead, and 6-foot-10 junior Henry Sims made it 46-41 10 seconds later with two free throws. Loyola's Omari Mobley hit a three at the buzzer for the final score. Atkins led the Gaels with 15 points, and Sims had 11. James Davenport paced the Dons with 18 points. Loyola's free-throw shooting (12-for-14) kept it in the game.
Cardinal Gibbons 51, Calvert Hall 47 -- Jamar Briscoe's jumper with eight seconds left gave the Crusaders a 49-47 lead, and Briscoe converted two from the foul line for the final margin of victory with 1.8 seconds email@example.com