Owls force overtime, but No. 1 Cavs win

Spalding escapes, 71-68, after 8 OT lead changes

Boys basketball

January 16, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Derrick Snowden's put-back and two free throws by James Bowen in the final 30 seconds of overtime enabled top-ranked Archbishop Spalding to outlast No. 4 Towson Catholic, 71-68, last night.

A layup by host Spalding's Darren Johnson off a pass from Tremaine Robinson with 29 seconds left in regulation tied the Catholic League game for the Cavaliers, who had lost a 15-point second-half lead, at 60.

Both teams missed scoring opportunities in the waning seconds of regulation, setting up the four-minute extra period.

Towson Catholic freshman Darnell Hopkins, who had two baskets in the final quarter, drew first blood in overtime to make it 62-60. Spalding's Isaac Brooks (13 points, five boards) answered with his third three-pointer of the game to make it 63-62.

The lead changed for the eighth time in the extra session on the put-back by point guard Snowden (12 points, five rebounds, three assists) with 30 seconds remaining to give the Cavaliers a one-point lead, 69-68.

Then an offensive foul on the visiting Owls gave the Cavaliers the ball again, and TC's Gil Goodrich fouled Bowen with 14 seconds left. Bowen sank both ends of a one-and-one to all but seal the victory, Spalding's 14th against two losses. The Cavs are 3-0 in the Catholic League.

A desperation three-point attempt to tie by the Owls' Goodrich, who had eight points on the evening, fell short.

The Cavaliers notched the thrilling win over the defending Catholic League champion Owls (10-4, 1-1) on their home court in Severn without the services of 7-foot starting center Derrick Goode.

Spalding coach Tony Martin said he sat Goode, the team's leading scorer (15 points a game) and rebounder (10), for an unspecified "team disciplinary reason."

Martin also said Goode, who sat on the bench and never removed his warm-up suit, will be back for tomorrow's 3: 30 p.m. game against Calvert Hall.

With Goode out, Serbian exchange student Aleksander Pavlovic played post in his biggest game since arriving last fall.

The 6-foot-8, 200-pound Pavlovic tied for game-high honors in scoring with 15 points with Owls guard, Steve Johnson. He pulled down a team-high eight rebounds as well, with three blocks.

"I told the kids Aleksandar would have his best game tonight, and he did," said Martin. "And Bowen is our best free-throw shooter [82 percent]. We could not have asked for a better guy at the line in that situation.

"Both teams played great, some of the best high school basketball I've seen."

A lot of the exciting play came in the second half, when Spalding jumped to a 15-point lead by capitalizing on Owls turnovers.

Just when it looked like the visitors were about to get blown out on the road, however, they caught fire. Towson Catholic went on a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 45-40.

A three-pointer by Brooks got it back to 48-40, Spalding.

Clutch baskets by Towson Catholic's Johnson, 6-6 Thabo Letsebe (10 rebounds) and Keith Jenifer (13 points) gave the hustling Owls a 54-52 lead after three quarters.

"There's no quit in our kids, something special about this bunch," said Towson Catholic coach Mike Daniel, whose players hit 11 of 19 from the floor in their 26-15 third quarter splurge. Johnson made nine of those points.

"My players are very upset now, because we've come so far as a team," Daniel said after the game. "But I thought Spalding did a good job."

Pub Date: 1/16/99

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