Spalding turns back McDonogh

No. 13 Cavaliers vary defenses in 41-35 victory

High Schools

Girls basketball

January 24, 2001|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Archbishop Spalding's girls basketball team tried a variety of defenses in the first three quarters of its Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game at McDonogh yesterday. The No. 13 Cavaliers found the one that worked, earning a 41-35 victory over the No. 17 Eagles.

With the teams tied at 30 early in the fourth quarter, Cavaliers coach Deb Taylor switched to a 3-2 zone, which forced the Eagles (10-7, 7-5) to shoot from the outside. When those shots failed, Spalding (12-8, 8-3) grabbed most of the rebounds and converted them into points.

Maggie Rapp led the Cavaliers with 10 points; Katie Nelson led McDonogh, also with 10.

"We were very composed down the stretch," said Rapp. "We knew we had to key on their post players. They adapted to our defenses well early on, but I think we wore them down late in the game."

The Cavaliers led, 17-11, at intermission, but McDonogh got consecutive three-pointers from Nelson and Natalie Sylvester to tie the game at 17 only a minute into the second half.

The teams exchanged the lead several times before the Cavaliers used their defense - and five points by Angela Schaech - to key a late 11-5 run for the win.

"We played tentatively in the first half, and we didn't hit our shots down the stretch," said McDonogh coach Katie Cooper. "We didn't do a good job rebounding, especially in the second half."

The Eagles were out-rebounded, 39-25.

The Cavaliers earned a victory over a respected conference opponent, something they haven't had for a while. Taylor thinks the win will help them during the final two weeks of the season, when they play some of the league's upper echelon.`This is our first win over a quality opponent since Christmas," said Taylor. "I think it will help us down the stretch as far as our confidence goes."

No. 3 Seton Keough 83, No. 9 John Carroll 38: The third-ranked Gators shot 57 percent from the field, combining dead-eye three-point shooting with a powerful inside game, to romp over the visiting Patriots in an IAAM A Conference girls basketball game.

"They shot exceptionally well," said Patriots coach Kathleen Shannon. "Ordinarily, if we would score 40 points against Seton Keough, I would feel like we would be in the ballgame. The bad news is they scored 83."

The Gators (16-2, 12-0 conference) blitzed the Patriots' zone defense with four three-pointers. Once Shannon switched to man-to-man, the Gators found the openings inside, where forward Jackie Valderas scored 19.

"We didn't expect them to come out in zone," said Valderas. "We haven't played zone in a while, but our shots took care of themselves, because we were playing such good defense. We got a lot of good offensive looks."

Three other Gators scored in double figures. All-Metro guard Keisha Blackwell, who scored 10 points within 1:20 in the fourth quarter, had 18. Sara Franz contributed 15 and Gen Olds, 11.

-- Katherine Dunn

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