Newest kid on the block, Spalding makes impression No. 11 Cavs stop Loyola in Catholic debut, 70-57

Boys basketball

January 05, 1998|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It was the kind of Catholic League opener that No. 11 Archbishop Spalding had pointed toward through its 13-game preseason schedule, which included tournaments in New York and Las Vegas.

The newest member of the Catholic League went into Loyola's Blakefield Gymnasium against the dean of Catholic League coaches, Jerry Savage, and came away with a convincing 70-57 victory over the No. 16 Dons.

"We came in with high hopes and we wanted to play a solid game," said sophomore guard Tremaine Robinson, who led Spalding with 17 points. "The Catholic League is what we've been waiting for. The tournaments were just helping to get us ready for this."

Spalding (9-5) used a 12-2 run late in the third quarter to break a 37-37 tie and that was vital in gaining the victory over Loyola (5-7).

A fast-break basket by sophomore Isaac Brooks broke the tie and then a driving layup by Robinson and a slam from sophomore Darren Johnson off a steal by Brooks put the Cavaliers ahead 43-37 with two minutes left in the third quarter. After a put-back basket by Loyola's Adam Melchor, Spalding crammed six more points into the final 45 seconds of the third quarter to build a 49-39 lead.

"That spurt really hurt us," said Savage. "They got two or three uncontested layups off their defense. They were quick, they shot the ball well and they were good."

Loyola couldn't manage to get closer than seven points after that.

In addition to Robinson's strong two-way performance Spalding got 12 points apiece from sophomore Derrick Snowden and 7-foot junior center Derrick Goode. Loyola's Brian Cosgrove led all scorers with 20 points and Mike Bosica added 15.

"It was a good first step," said Tony Martin, Spalding's second-year coach. "We played well together and we hoped we could wear them down. We're just happy for the opportunity to play in the Catholic League."

The Cavaliers had an auspicious start to their Catholic League history when Robinson slammed in an alley-oop pass from Snowden to open the game's scoring just 35 seconds after the opening tip.

The Cavaliers, however, trailed for most of the first quarter as Loyola's Bosica hit two three-pointers and Cosgrove scored eight points. Loyola led, 19-17.

The Dons still led 21-19 with just over five minutes left in the first half when Spalding made its first run. The Cavaliers outscored the home team 11-4 over the next four minutes to open a 30-25 advantage with 1: 30 left in the half.

Pub Date: 1/05/98

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