Spalding slows down St. Frances, 55-47

Patience, pressure pay off for Cavs after early lull

Boys basketball

January 29, 2000|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Four of ninth-ranked St. Frances' starters arrived for last night's Catholic League game against No. 5 Archbishop Spalding only moments before tip-off.

The Panthers' offense, however, never showed up at all.

Using a deliberate half-court attack and intense pressure defense, Spalding slowed St. Frances' up-tempo game to a crawl, hitting 16 of 18 foul shots in a 55-47 win at the University of Baltimore.

Playing their first game in 13 days, the Cavaliers (11-8 overall, 3-1 Catholic League) didn't miss a beat.

Despite starting three sophomores, they forced 18 turnovers in a game in which each possession took on greater meaning and shot 56 percent in the second half.

"We wanted to try [to] get into a half-court game and use our fundamental ability and execution to our advantage," said Spalding coach Mike Glick. "I thought we did a good job of it."

Led by guards Derrick Snowden (18 points), Isaac Brooks (17) and Tremaine Robinson (14), the Cavaliers rallied from a poor start to quickly take command.

Harried by intense half-court defense, the Anne Arundel County team hit one of its first seven shots and turned the ball over five times, falling behind 10-2 after the first 5: 31.

Late in the quarter, however, Spalding crept back into the game, creating better looks at the basket and getting to the foul line.

The Cavaliers tied the score at 14 on Robinson's 12-footer 5: 31 before halftime, then took a 25-20 lead into the break after Brooks scored the final eight points.

"I was very, very impressed with our seniors and the way they picked up our performance when they subbed into the game, especially Isaac Brooks," said Glick.

Said Brooks: "We just wanted to be patient and have good shot selection."

After St. Frances (10-5, 4-3) cut the lead to one on Cheyenne Patty's tip-in midway through the second quarter, the Cavaliers reeled off 10 straight points to build their lead to 36-26, holding the Panthers scoreless for more than five minutes.

Though Panthers players such as Timothy Payne (17 points) and Tavon McKoy (11) soon got back on track, the damage had been done.

St. Frances coach William Wells had no defense for his late arrivals. They were supposed to have arrived 90 minutes before they did, he said. Showing his frustration, he benched all four for the first quarter.

Though the Panthers' reserves more than picked up the slack at the start, Wells said the situation threw the team's game plan into a tailspin.

"Everybody was off-key," Wells said. "And once we got out of focus, we stayed that way. We had a game plan, but we couldn't do it."

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