MAHWAH, N.J. -- Marquis Webb literally saved his best for last, pumping in 14 of his 21 points in an incredible fourth quarter surge as Paterson Catholic upended Bergen Catholic, 74-69, on Saturday night at the Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic.
Trailing by 15 after three quarters of play, Webb hit a three pointer, a lay-up and nine of 12 free throws in the final quarter as the Cougars wrested control of the game from the Crusaders.
"Bergen Catholic did a great job of denying Marquis the ball on the wing, so we decided to put him in the post, and he played big down there," PC Head Coach Tommie Patterson explained. "They fouled him, he was strong down there and he knocked down his free throws."
With Paterson Catholic trailing 56-41 entering the fourth quarter, the Cougars slapped a 19-3 run on Bergen Catholic, capped by a pair of Webb free throws, to take a 60-59 lead with 3:29 remaining.
The game remained tight over the next few minutes, but with the game knotted at 66, Paterson Catholic converted four of six free throw chances to take a 70-66 lead.
Darryl Watkins, the Cougars' 6-10 senior center who had a terrific game (28 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks), fouled Sean Banks on B.C.'s next possession, picking up his fifth foul. Banks hit just one of two, but 6-7 forward Adrian Joseph swooped in for a stickback as the Crusaders pulled to within 70-69 with :33 to play.
With 25.3 seconds left, Webb was fouled. Uncharacteristically, he missed a pair, but a Cougar player tied up Bergen Catholic's Joseph as he grabbed the rebound of Webb's second miss.
With the possession arrow in favor of P.C., the Cougars maintained possession. And Paterson Catholic made B.C. pay when Webb scored off the in-bounds pass with :19 remaining to give the Cougars a 72-69 lead.
Banks missed a very long three pointer that would have tied it, and forward Miles Orman (Marist) missed a putback that would have drawn Bergen Catholic to within a point in the waning seconds.
Paterson Catholic guard Stephon Brown capped the comeback with 2.2 seconds to play, hitting a pair of free throws to account for the five point margin.
Banks, who was being eyeballed by Memphis Head Coach John Calipari and Tiger Asst. Coach Tony Barbee, finished with 18 points. He didn't start the game, but came off the bench and was instrumental in the Crusaders' big third quarter surge as B.C. built a 15 point cushion.
"It was a game of runs, and when they had their run going, we didn't defend well," Bergen Catholic Head Coach Joe Dionisio said. "I thought they knocked down a lot of open looks, whereas in the first half, we contested them better."
Joseph, a 6-7 junior combo forward from Trinidad, also added 18 for Bergen Catholic. He is in his second year at B.C., but is expected to attend prep school next year since he will be out of high school athletic eligibility in 2003-2004.
With the victory, Paterson Catholic avenged a state playoff loss to Bergen Catholic last March.