The St. Mary’s Men’s Basketball team performed strongly at the three day Pride of Maryland Tournament Nov. 15 and 18-19, besting Washington College and Frostburg State Universities and losing to Johns Hopkins University by only a single point.
Played in Chestertown and Baltimore, MD, before Thanksgiving break, the Pride of Maryland Championship Tournament put the Seahawks to the test following a 77-70 loss to St. John’s College on Nov. 1, the first game of the 2011- 2012 season. Having two weeks to prepare, the players stepped up their game by Nov. 15 to begin the tournament.
The Shoremen engaged in a tough competition with the Seahawks, maintaining a 42-41 lead by halftime. While losing by seven points at one point in the first half, Washington caught up to the Seahawks to a tie, followed by a free-throw sink that placed the Shoremen just above St. Mary’s.
A similar pattern continued in the second half. As senior guard Deon Queen continued a strong performance that gave the Seahawks an eight-point lead, high-scoring Shoreman Sal Schittino pushed Washington to 65 against the College’s 66. Nevertheless, it was St. Mary’s that held the lead by the end of the second half, ending 78-74 despite a close 75-74 standing less than a minute before the end.
In seemingly good spirits, the Seahawks continued to Baltimore on Nov. 18, to take on Johns Hopkins University. Just as the Seahawks battled against Washington, the Blue Jays opposed the Seahawks at every lead, always maintaining a close margin by a 32-28 halftime, Hopkins in the lead. Following an eight-point trail in the second half, St. Mary’s stepped up with a 9-0 run that put them in the lead for the first time since the first half.
Despite a back-and-forth exchange of the lead and several ties throughout the game, the Blue Jays took a five point lead by the final minute, maintained until junior captain David Spencer landed a long-range shot to reduce the Blue Jays’ lead to 67-66. As the Seahawks stole the ball in the last few seconds of the game, junior forward Jeff Haus took a final hail-Mary to win it against the buzzer. The shot failed to connect, maintaining the Hopkins lead for a close 67-66 finish in part two of the tournament.
St. Mary’s returned to competition in Baltimore the following day , taking on the Frostburg State Bobcats in the final round of the tournament. Despite a struggle in the first half, as St. Mary’s fought to gain a 27-25 lead over Frostburg by halftime, the Seahawks soared over the Bobcats in the second half with 43-33 lead. The lead grew throughout the second half, but dangerously closed to a three-point margin following a strong run by the Bobcats. The game closed with a strong performance by the Seahawks, who took a 62-57 win over Frostburg. The Seahawks currently hold a 5-2 lead overall and a 1-0 conference lead. Their next game is conference level on Wednesday at York College.