IND beats Spalding at last second, 57-55

Jones' put-back at buzzer drops No. 6 Cavaliers in game with 10 lead changes

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 19, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

With visiting Spalding's gritty defense and on-target outside shooting offsetting the Institute of Notre Dame's advantage in size and athleticism, all indications were yesterday's showdown would come down to the final possession.

Make that the final second.

Originally off the mark following an adventurous trip through the lane, IND sophomore guard Chandrea Jones found the ball again underneath the basket, just beating the buzzer with a follow that gave the No. 3 Indians a roller-coaster 57-55 win over the No. 6 Cavaliers in Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference play.

The game had nine ties, 10 lead changes and two teams that played to their strengths at a high level.

Jones - who finished with a game-high 18 points to barely outdo a dynamic 17-point effort from Spalding sophomore guard Stacy Hunt - made the most of the all-important last chance. She was helped by senior forward Caroline Wesley, who kept the play alive with hard work underneath.

"That was just working as a team," said Jones, an All-Metro selection last season. "I knew what I had to do, drove to the basket. And I never give up."

The Indians improved to 11-3 overall and 8-1 in the IAAM, behind only top-ranked St. Frances. The Cavaliers, who got 11 points from forward Meghan Sullivan and 10 from forward Lizzy Bayly, are now 10-5 and 7-2 in conference play.

A height advantage at every position among the starting five was there for the Indians, and rebounding was the primary concern for Spalding coach Deb Taylor. While the Cavaliers were able to hold their ground most of the way, one too many second chances proved the difference.

"As for the matchup, we've been giving up size all season, but I think we're very tough and pretty smart to make up for that," she said. "We just didn't keep them off the boards offensively as much as we would have liked."

An easy layup from Wesley on an inbounds play gave the Indians the biggest lead of the game at 35-27 with 6:09 left in the third quarter.

The Cavaliers answered with a 12-2 run sparked by Hunt at the end. She hit consecutive three pointers and then had a driving layup to give the lead back to the visitors at 39-37.

With the game tied at 42 going into the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers took their biggest lead at 49-44 on a follow from Bayly, but this time it was the Indians' turn to come back behind five straight points from Jones.

With the Cavaliers trailing 55-54 and 23 seconds left, Hunt earned a trip to the free-throw line, watching the first one rattle in and out before making the second to tie the game.

It was Jones with the ball last.

"When the first shot went up, Caroline was able to keep it alive, and Chandrea is always at the right place at the right time. She just knows her way around the basket," said IND coach Herb Hoelter.

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