No. 4 Spalding holds off No. 14 Gibbons, 84-80

Crusaders nearly erase 22-point, first-half deficit

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 04, 2003|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Archbishop Spalding did not leave its game at the beach in Lewes, Del.

The No. 4 Cavaliers escaped No. 14 Cardinal Gibbons last night with an 84-80 victory in the combined Baltimore Catholic League/Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game at Gibbons.

Winning coach Mike Glick, whose team shot 59 percent for the game (32 of 54), said it was "one of the weirdest games" he had ever been involved in.

Junior point guard Jesse Brooks, who had a game-high 10 assists, scored 11 of his 20 points in the final period, nine in the final 1:35, to save the Cavaliers. Rudy Gay, who had a game-high 21 points for the victors to go with five assists, six rebounds and three blocked shots, said the Cavaliers "are not a good second-half team right now."

Spalding had a 39-17 lead with just under three minutes remaining in the first half. The Crusaders (8-4, 1-3) outscored them 63-45 the rest of the way, mainly by shooting 55 percent (17-for-31) in the second half, and got within 82-80 with three seconds left in the game.

Gibbons shot 50 percent (27-for-54) for the game, with eight three-point baskets, and placed four starters in double figures, plus Glenn Nelson, who came off the bench to score 15.

Brett Foelber tied Nelson for team honors with 15 points, followed by Brahn Jenkins (13) and 12 each from Leon Williams and sophomore Pat Grace.

Tim Brackney's pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining iced it for Spalding.

"We got kind of helter skelter there in the last period, turning the ball over, but we kept our composure at the end, " said Brooks.

"Our offense wasn't working, so I had to step it up."

Spalding (9-2) came into the game after finishing runner-up in the prestigious Slam Dunk to the Beach National Invitational.

With 7-foot Will Bowers dominating in the post, the Cavaliers, who are 3-1 in the league, built a 19-5 first-period lead into 22-point advantages twice in the second period.

Bowers had all 11 of his points in the first half, along with five of his six rebounds and six of his eight blocked shots before getting into foul trouble. Bowers sat part of the third and fourth periods before leaving after his fifth foul with 1:23 remaining.

Coach Bob Flynn said after his Crusaders won their own O. Ray Mullis Classic during the holidays that he believed his team had made great strides in raising its level of play.

"We're a little bit deeper than we have been, and Kenny Hasbrook has made us a different kind of team, a tough team to guard," said Flynn.

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