St. Joe, Spalding knocked out in first round

Gaels fall to R. Catholic

Cavs lose in 3rd overtime

Alhambra tournament boys basketball

High Schools

March 19, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

FROSTBURG - It wasn't a good day for the Baltimore metro area's top two teams as No. 1 Mount St. Joseph and No. 2 Archbishop Spalding both lost to Philadelphia teams in the first round of the 44th Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament at Frostburg State University yesterday.

After the top-ranked Gaels dropped a 81-74 decision to Roman Catholic, Spalding lost to USA Today's No. 20 St. Joseph's Prep, 75-65, in the first triple overtime in the history of the tournament.

Both teams dropped to the consolation bracket after getting no breaks at the foul line.

St. Joseph's Prep (27-5) plays at 5:45 p.m. today against the loser of last night's game between DeMatha and Cardinal Dougherty of Philadelphia, and Spalding (27-8) plays host to Bishop Walsh (18-13) at 4 p.m.

If the two local teams win, they would meet at 4:45 tomorrow in the consolation championship game for fifth place.

Despite 29 points by All-American Rudy Gay, Spalding went down in a heartbreaker that was the 750th career win for Hawks veteran coach Speedy Morris. The Cavaliers got a three-pointer from Gay with 2:01 left in regulation to tie the game at 53-53, and then the 6-foot-9 forward blocked a shot by the Hawks' Mike Kearney on an attempted lay-in at the buzzer to force overtime.

Johann Jones' tip-in with 25 seconds left tied the game at 59-59 in the first overtime to force more action after St. Joseph's Prep's Jared Black missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Black had 21 points with seven of the Hawks' 12 three-pointers on the night. Each team scored only once in the second overtime, with Gay scoring on a turnaround jumper with 1:47 left. The Cavs again stopped the Hawks on the last shot as Gay came up with the ball on the baseline with nine-tenths of a second left.

Black's final three-pointer of the night in transition off a Cavaliers turnover with 1:12 left in the third overtime broke the backs of the Cavaliers as St. Joseph's Prep took a 69-63 lead and held on.

"The kids played their hearts out," Spalding coach Mike Glick said. "We've been one possession away in a lot of big games this year.

"You don't want to lose, but if you're going to lose, that's the way to lose."

It was Spalding's fifth overtime game of the season.

"To get my 750th win over a great team means a lot," said Morris of his 26-3 Hawks. "Mike Glick has a super team, and it's two years in a row now we were fortunate to come out on top of them [in the semifinals last year]. Both times it could have gone either way.

"Rudy Gay is a terrific player. He's fun to watch, not fun to coach against, and I think he's going to have a great career at Connecticut."

Spalding was only 2-for-4 at the line. Prep was 15-for-17.

It was too much Charron Fisher and a lopsided 28-3 disparity in free throws for the top-ranked Gaels to handle in their disappointing loss.

Fisher scored 22 of his game-high 28 points in the second half.

Will Thomas had 25 points, eight rebounds and two steals to lead Mount St. Joseph.

Thomas said: "We couldn't do anything about all the fouls on us, and that's where we lost the game," said Thomas, who played most of the second half with four fouls."

Roman Catholic made 28 of 34 attempts at the line to the Gaels' three of 10.

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