Bowers, Gay Pull One Out of Fire vs. Gaither, E.R.
Posted by Michael Glick on Dec 20 2002 at 04:00PM PST
By: Mark Thomas Date: December 20, 2002 GREENBELT, MD (E.Roosevelt HS)-It was supposed to be a mismatch. It started off like a mismatch. Down 13-0, a 1-4 E.Roosevelt squad could've easily quit. Instead, they played their hearts out and might've done something to turn their season around, falling 56-51 in OT. As for Spalding, they were staring at their first L, as they trailed 48-45 with :10.9 left in regulation. During a time out, Spalding head coach Mike Glick turned to big man Will Bowers and told him that this is the shot he's wanted to take his whole life and he's getting it. The 7-foot Bowers received the pass above the 3 point line at the top of the key. With one motion, he calmly buried the 3, looking like it was a regular part of his repertoire. It was the 2nd 3-pointer of his career. Despite a knee that was obviously bothering him, Bowers scored 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. He and 6'9 Jared Gaither from E.R. (15 points) were causing tremors throughout the gym as these two wide bodies battled in the paint. Spalding also got a scintillating performance from one of the country's top juniors, Rudy Gay. The 6'7 Gay had 29 points and 10 rebounds. 19 of his points were in the book by halftime. Two of the biggest came in overtime with the score tied at 50 and about 1:05 left on the clock. Gay received a pass just outside the paint in the left side low post. He was immediately doubled. He calmly stepped through the double team and hit a short jumper. 52-50 Spalding and the Cavaliers never relinquished the lead. Gay scored the game's first points with a dunk and slammed home an airball at the end of the 1st quarter. Spalding led 23-11 at the end of that quarter and pushed the lead to 27-13. Gay was sprinkling shots from all over the court as he displayed very nice touch. Again, ER could've folded, but they went on a 15-0 run and led at the half, 28-27. They did it with some outstanding pressure defense. All the sudden, we had a ball game on our hands. I don't think anyone led by more than 3 points in the 2nd half, as each side seemed to counter with constant clutch shots. Biggest key stat of the game is probably ER's woeful free throw shooting. They were 11-27 from the FT line. Spalding was 11-16. Only 4 Spalding players scored tonight- Gay, Brooks, Durr and Bowers. Bowers REALLY competed tonight. ER was led by 15 from Gaither and 15 from Carl Campbell. This was a great game for both teams in terms of their preparation for the rest of the season. Spalding faced better defense than they will probably see all year in the BCL. E.R. has to exit with a confidence boost. Look for them to get better as their bevy of young players learn their system.
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