Spalding holds off Severn, 59-56

January 31, 1995|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

Archbishop Spalding coach Kristie Lilly has seen it happen before. Too many times.

Her team plays a good first half, then slowly wilts. And the end result usually is a loss.

Yesterday, the Cavaliers were outscored in the third quarter and fell behind to visiting Severn, but wound up being the stronger team at the finish.

Stephanie Paxson grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to give Spalding the lead with four minutes left, and her bank shot after a scramble under the basket and defensive rebound in the last seven seconds assured a 59-56 win over the Admirals.

Severn's Amy Galebach had scored off the glass with 35 seconds left to pull her team within one. Christina Gribbin then came up with a loose ball in a crowd and fed Paxson underneath while still lying on the floor.

The Admirals' Monique Jennings (18 points) missed a long jumper and Paxson grabbed the rebound and dribbled out the remaining seconds, as Spalding (6-13) won for only the third time in 10 games.

Paxson, a 5-9 junior, led three Cavaliers in double-figures with 16 points. Senior Maryland Arciaga added 14, and sophomore Kathleen O'Hara had 10.

Though the Cavaliers weren't expected to defeat Severn (9-9), which had beaten them by 16 points last month in the Noel Classic, Paxson said her team came in confident.

"We played a really good game the other night [a 50-32 loss to Seton Keough Friday] and we knew that it would carry over," she said. "And Ms. Lilly really got us motivated. We were standing there in the lockerroom and she was yelling and getting us ready to go out and have a good third quarter."

Instead, Severn turned a 32-31 deficit into a 45-42 lead behind 10 points from Kate Graw. But the 5-10 junior was held to two points in the fourth quarter -- two free throws with 1:09 left that reduced Spalding's lead to 56-54. She finished with 23 points, six above her season's average.

Jennings was cold from the outside and had just six points in the second half.

In the loss to Seton Keough, the Cavaliers were down by four points at halftime, but scored only two in the third quarter. But Lilly called it "the best defensive effort we've had and a good game for us."

"I think that did carry over for us and it gave us some confidence," she said.

Severn had gone ahead, 16-11, late in the first quarter, but Arciaga hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, and the Cavaliers moved in front, 21-20, on a basket from Paxson and a free throw by Shannon Cashour.

Severn didn't reclaim the lead until three minutes remained in the third quarter, when Galebach made two free throws after Arciaga had picked up her fourth foul. Spalding twice fell behind by six points in the fourth quarter before rallying.

Trish Kircher made two jumpers during a 10-0 run that put Spalding ahead, 54-50.

"One of the main things we talked about was staying out of foul trouble, but I had to go deep into my bench" said Admirals coach Maurice Jennings. "I had some players with four fouls and had to make a lot of changes, like playing a lot of zone, instead of man-to-man.

"I told the players they couldn't look at what we did in the Christmas tournament and say we were going to beat them again. This was a different game."

And one that Spalding didn't let get away.

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