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Delaney nets 27; Baltimore stars edge U.S. team

The Baltimore Sun

In his final appearance as a high school player in the Baltimore metro area, Towson Catholic's Malcolm Delaney said he wanted to give area fans one last thing to remember him by.

The All-Metro Player of the Year delivered. Delaney, a 6-foot-3 guard, scored 27 points and had six assists to help the Baltimore All-Stars to their third straight win over the U.S. All-Stars, 116-113, in the Charm City Challenge last night at the Towson Center.

While the U.S. All-Stars might be stinging from the loss, many of the players will see each other again Thursday night in the Capital Classic at the Comcast Center.

"I wanted to play well for the people in Baltimore because this is the last time they will see me, unless they come down to the Capital Classic," said Delaney, who will play at Virginia Tech next season. "I wanted to put on a show."

In addition to Delaney, Dino Gregory (11 points) of Mount St. Joseph, Aric Brooks (24 points) of St. Frances, Shane Walker (10 points) of Montrose Christian, and Nikita Meshcharakou (13 points) of St. John's Catholic Prep also scored in double figures for Baltimore.

After neither team could pull away, Delaney scored seven points in Baltimore's 11-0 run to help his team take a 107-100 lead with 2:59 left. Baltimore clung to its lead, but a three-pointer by Maurice Miller of Raleigh-Egypt (Tenn.) cut the score to 114-113 with 7.2 seconds left.

However, Desmond Thomas (nine points) of St. Frances then made both of his free throws with five seconds left to seal the win. While the matchup was designed to be a wide-open All-Star game, the play was physical throughout. The referees called 38 fouls, and there was trash-talking from both sides.

"These kids are used to playing one another and it got to be a competitive environment," said Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey, who is now 3-0 in the Charm City Challenge. "The people got their money's worth."

Darnell Dodson of Eleanor Roosevelt led the U.S. with 20 points. He will play at the University of Pittsburgh next year. At least 16 of the 22 players involved in the game have committed to Division I basketball programs next season.

Baltimore County 89, City 85 --In the other game, the Baltimore County All-Stars beat the City All-Stars for the first time in three years.

Kareem Downs of Glen Burnie led Baltimore County with a game-high 16 points and two steals. Downs said the difference in the game was how his team responded to coach John Williams (Broadneck), who urged his players to pick up the intensity during his halftime speech.

"I felt pretty good today. I didn't participate in the three-point contest, so I had to prove that I could shoot the ball," Downs said. "Coach told us we were getting outplayed, and that was true. We knew we had to pick it up in the second half."

The County had trailed its City counterparts throughout most of the first half, but outscored its opponent 26-17 in the third quarter. The City team made a late comeback and cut the score to 82-81 with three minutes left, but clutch shots by Glen Burnie teammates Garrett Blackstone (eight points, two blocks) and Downs sealed the victory.

Eric Barksdale of Dunbar and Alex Franz of Cardinal Gibbons led the City with 15 points each. River Hill's Tommy Brenton (11 points) and Mount Carmel's Ceslovas Kucinskas (12 points) tied the tournament record for rebounds with 16 each.

The all-time series between the teams is tied at three games.

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