Archbishop Spalding's Shaquilla Curtis, left, and teammate… (Gene Sweeney Jr. / Baltimore…)
Spalding coach Bookie Rosemond wasn't surprised when his team struggled in the opening minutes of Thursday's game at Digital Harbor. The Cavaliers were going through exam week, hadn't practiced as much and scored only eight points in the first seven minutes.
But Camille Calhoun and Maggie Morrison sparked an offense that came to life in the second quarter as top-ranked Spalding quickly took command and pulled away for a 60-42 victory over No. 6 Digital Harbor.
Spalding (15-2) looked flat in the opening minutes. The Cavaliers turned the ball over three times, missed their first four shots and needed nearly three minutes to score their first points. They made only five of 15 shots in the first quarter, and committed five turnovers, but escaped with a 14-10 lead.
"I thought we'd be a little flat at first," Rosemond said. "But then we got into a little bit of a rhythm. We got into a groove."
That groove started when Shaquilla Curtis banked in a 3-pointer as time expired in the first period. Morrison made slick passes for three assists and hit a 3-pointer, while Calhoun scored five points in the first half of the second quarter as the Cavaliers began to take charge.
They scored seven in a row at one point and 11 of the final 13 points in the half for a 31-17 lead at the break. Morrison then drilled back-to-back 3-pointers in the first 90 seconds of the third quarter for a 20-point edge, and Digital Harbor (6-4) couldn't do much after that.
"We always come back, and we always want to [win]," Morrison said. "When we started passing, we started getting better looks."
The good passing began giving the Cavaliers good shots from many different places. Spalding also has a lot of weapons on offense — Calhoun led the way with 15 points, and Morrison (seven assists), Sherae Swinson and Curtis each added 13 as the Cavaliers won their seventh straight game.
A'lexus Harrison led the Rams with 15 points, while Markia Beckwith (11 points) and Deja Carroll (10 points) all played well. But Digital Harbor never executed consistently on offense until it scored 10 points in the final three minutes — a spurt that came much too late.
The Rams made only five of 28 shots from the field in the first half, finished the game with 28 turnovers and never put together any kind of run.
Digital Harbor had plenty of good chances but missed a number of shots from the lane and open shots from the wing while trying to rebound from a heartbreaking loss to Western on Friday when the Doves scored the game's final 14 points in the final 71 seconds.
In addition, coach Patrick McDonald's team had just six players in uniform; two were suspended for disciplinary reasons, and another was out because of an injury.
"They're seasoned and they can play," McDonald said of Spalding. "Hats off to them. They executed well."