Spalding weathers upset bid by Gibbons

No. 2 Cavs wear down Crusaders in second half

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 22, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

The stage was set for a big upset in boys basketball yesterday as No. 2 Archbishop Spalding invaded No. 16 Cardinal Gibbons at the coach Ray Mullis Gym in southwest Baltimore.

Spalding proved to be an unwilling participant and put the host Crusaders away with a strong second half that led to a 64-50 victory in the combined Baltimore Catholic League/Maryland Interscholastic Athletic A Conference game.

The Cavaliers (17-3) had not played in eight days after a tournament in Chambersburg, Pa., was canceled over the weekend because of the snow.

Gibbons (11-10) was coming off a Friday upset of then-No. 8 McDonogh (12-6) by 57-54 and an 81-53 victory over Archbishop Curley earlier in the week.

The results appeared to dictate a sharp Gibbons hosting a rusty Spalding. After a 19-19 first period that led to a 30-26 Spalding lead at the half, it looked more and more like the upset was on.

Will Bowers, a 6-foot-11 junior, scored 11 of his team-high 18 points in the first half for Spalding while point guard Landy Thompson (16 points) fired in a trio of three-pointers for nine points in the first period to give the Cavaliers a four-point halftime lead.

Gibbons coach Bob Flynn was excited that his team was right there going into the third period with only eight players dressed due to injuries.

"We were really thin in the backcourt, and for all the talent Spalding has, I thought we did a good job hanging in there," said Flynn.

"I was very happy and thrilled they [Cavaliers] held the ball at the end of the first half because my guys sure could use a blow."

The Crusaders got back-to-back three-pointers from Luke McCrone (nine points, nine rebounds) and sophomore Brett Foelber, who had five three-pointers and 17 points, to start the second half. A basket by Bowers was sandwiched in between.

Cory Hudson gave Spalding the lead for good at 34-32.

A three-pointer by Dave Douglas, the Cavs' sixth and final one of the game, came at the end of the third to make it 51-39 Spalding.

Dwight Dean led Gibbons with 18 points, including a three-pointer just before Douglas'.

"We were overzealous playing our defensive pressure in the first half, we fouled and we were in the double-bonus early, but the second half we did a much better job of not gambling and playing tight," said Spalding coach Mike Glick.

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