No. 5 Spalding rallies past Woodlawn, 58-51, behind Sullivan, Gay

Junior's 11-point 2nd half lifts Cavaliers

senior gets 21 points, 13 rebounds

Boys basketball

High Schools

December 10, 2003|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Most of the crowd at last night's Woodlawn-at-Spalding boys basketball game might have come to get a glimpse of Cavaliers All-America senior forward Rudy Gay. But it was Marquis Sullivan who stole the show.

The junior guard scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half as the No. 5 Cavaliers rallied to defeat the No. 12 Warriors, 58-51, in the season's first meeting of top-20 teams.

"I thought Marquis gave us a huge spark offensively and defensively," said Spalding coach Mike Glick. " ... He's a testament to hard work and fortitude."

Gay, a returning first-team All-Metro player, was a force with a game-high 21 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots for the Cavaliers (1-0).

Senior forward Jason Goode led Woodlawn with 16 points, and Lance Fuller scored 11.

The Warriors, looking to unseat Randallstown in Baltimore County and make a run at the 4A North region title, led by as many as eight points late in the third quarter, but Spalding rallied to pull even at 43 after a three-pointer by Sullivan and two free throws by Gay.

A rebound and ferocious dunk by the Connecticut-bound Gay pushed Spalding ahead 48-43 with 6:49 remaining.

Woodlawn cut it to 52-49 after a three-point play by Jordan Brown. But the Cavaliers spread the court, and Sullivan blew past the Warriors' defense for a layup with 1:19 left in regulation.

With Gay likely facing double and triple teams this winter, Spalding will need performances like Sullivan's if it hopes to hold up during a tough December schedule that includes a trip to the Beach Ball Classic in South Carolina.

"He's going to get doubled, and we have to hit our shots," said Sullivan, a reserve last season. "This was my first big game, and I felt comfortable out there with my teammates."

The Warriors established a 14-9 lead with a patient half-court offense and 6-for-11 shooting.

Woodlawn gained its largest advantage of the first half at 22-14, converting an offensive foul against Cavaliers guard Justin Castleberry into a basket by Goode. In less than 12 minutes, Spalding had 11 turnovers.

Gay seemingly brought the Cavaliers out of their malaise, following a miss by Castleberry with another hard dunk for a three-point play. The Cavaliers went on an 8-0 run to pull even at 22 with 3:06 left in the half.

A three-pointer by Sullivan helped Spalding gain its first lead, 27-26, with 35 seconds remaining, but a rebound and follow shot by Goode gave Woodlawn the advantage heading into halftime.

The Warriors opened the second half with a 6-0 run to lead 34-27, and later extended it to eight on a three-pointer by Fuller. But Woodlawn went scoreless for nearly five minutes toward the end of the third quarter, then continued to falter in the fourth quarter.

"We made a few mental mistakes in the fourth quarter, and against a good team like Spalding, you can't do that," said Warriors coach Eddie Green. "We played well, but we didn't execute in the fourth quarter."

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