Spalding sinks Mount St. Joe, 61-54

Cavaliers 11 down at half

Towson Catholic beaten

High Schools

BCL/MIAA A Conference basketball

February 25, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Jesse Brooks led a spirited Archbishop Spalding in the second half last night as the Cavaliers overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Mount St. Joseph, 61-54, in the second Baltimore Catholic League/Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinal at Goucher College.

The hex continued for sixth-ranked Mount St. Joseph (24-8), the only team in the league to have never won the tourney in 31 years.

At 7 tonight, the No. 4 Cavaliers (27-5) can win their third BCL tournament title in four years to go with the MIAA A Conference title they clinched last night.

Spalding's opponent will be defending BCL champion St. Maria Goretti of Hagerstown, a winner over Towson Catholic in last night's other semifinal. Spalding and Goretti split their two regular-season meetings.

Tonight's winner will receive an automatic bid to the Alhambra Invitational in Cumberland, March 14-16.

The combined leagues' JV championship will precede the big game, with Spalding taking on McDonogh at 5:30 p.m.

Brooks, a 5-foot-10 sophomore guard, scored eight of his 16 points in the third period as the Cavs outscored the No. 6 Gaels 16-9 to pull within 48-44 going into the last period.

"They weren't showing me any respect in the first half the way they were playing me [out on the perimeter], lagging off me," said Brooks.

"I decided to take it to the glass in the second half, and it paid off."

While Brooks scored on three layups and two free throws in the third, the Gaels (24-8), who were on fire in the first half, hitting 16 of 22 from the field, lost their touch.

St. Joe was 5-for-23 from the field in the second half, just 2-for-12 in the last eight minutes. Its first basket of the last period, by J.J. Outlaw, who had 11 points in the game, came with 2:02 remaining and Spalding leading 55-50.

"We ran up-tempo and our trap more and threw in a little man-to-man," said Spalding coach Mike Glick, whose team was 9-for-20 from the floor in the second half.

"The win typifies our season and the way our kids never give up and everybody contributes. We've been under this kind of pressure before because of our tough schedule."

The Gaels missed seven shots from the field and three from the line before Outlaw scored, something coach Pat Clatchey found inexplicable.

Landy Thompson, who led Spalding with a game-high 20 points, put the Cavs up for good at 50-48 with two free throws.

Gus Durr, who came off the bench to score 12 points, hit a short jumper to make it 52-48, and Spalding then used its spread offense to run time off the clock.

St. Maria Goretti 62, Towson Catholic 43: Much to the dismay of Owls coach Mike Daniel, the game was over in the first half as the defending-champion Gaels (24-10) took a 33-7 lead. They boosted the advantage to 39-7 early in the third period and never looked back.

"We played almost a perfect first half," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson.

Goretti led 13-0 after the first period as the Owls (8-22) simply could not generate any offense after upsetting No. 6 Calvert Hall on Friday night.

Matt Tanner, who was named BCL Player of the Year, and Matt Spierenburg had nine points each for the Hagerstown team in the opening 16 minutes.

"It was my toughest year ever coaching," said Daniel, who suffered through his third, but worst, losing season in 16 years.

"We were too inconsistent. We didn't have the right chemistry."

Darnell Hopkins led the Owls with 20 points.

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