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Spalding Gets By St. Frances, 62-59

Posted by Michael Glick at Feb 21, 2004 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
By Mark Thomas February 22, 2004 Magazine Staff With his team trailing St. Frances by 9 at 26-17 with 2:57 left in the first half and with the team still feeling the sluggish, after-effects of a heart-breaking, overtime 76-75 loss to Mt. St. Joseph, Spalding head coach Mike Glick leaned in a little closer to his team’s huddle. With confidence in his voice, he told his players that “Our shots aren’t falling, but you’ll win it with defense”. It was a prediction that made you think Glick knew something that the rest of us watching didn’t, because up until that point, Spalding’s defense wasn’t much better than its offense. In the end, Glick’s words proved to be prophetic, as Spalding rallied from a 9 point halftime deficit to defeat St. Frances 62-59 in the MIAA playoffs. Rudy Gay led the way with 21 points and a typical Rudy-esque stat sheet stuffer performance. St. Frances did its best to push Gay out of the low post and make the McDonald’s All-American catch the ball farther away from the basket. They did and he still scored. And when he wasn’t scoring, he was being unselfish in transition, working a textbook 2 on 1 when the game was on the line. In fact, Spalding finally caught and overtook St. Frances after Gay stole the ball and paired with wingman Jesse Brooks in transition against a lone St. Frances defender. Gay drew the defense, hit Brooks (12 points) in stride with a pass and Brooks not only made the basket, but was fouled. The converted free throw put Spalding up 39-38 with :23 left in the 3rd period. In multiple key sequences, Gay was able to grab offensive rebounds and put-back his teammates misses. A Gay offensive board and dunk put Spalding on top 41-40 to start the 4th period. A Gay follow put Spalding up 53-50 with 3:15 left in regulation. And with Spalding struggling to hold on to the ball and a 58-57 lead with just :17 left in the 4th, Gay went to the basket where he got a bucket and a foul. The four point, 61-57 lead held up, but not without St. Frances getting a tough look at a possible tying three-pointer at the buzzer. Spalding trailed by as much as 13 at 30-17 in the first half. A quick look at Spalding’s results for the season indicated that the St. Frances offensive output spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E for Spalding, because in games that Spalding’s opponents have scored 60 or more points, the Cavaliers (24-6) are only 5-6. St. Frances went right at Spalding’s opening 2-1-2 defense and sliced it like a steak knife. Multiple times the Panthers were able to pass or attack out of the high post and get high percentage shots. Moreover, not only was Spalding dealing with post- Mt. St. Joseph malaise, but they’d already beaten St. Frances twice during the regular season. St. Frances 6-6 sophomore Rashawn Alexander had his way, with 8 points by halftime. He nailed baseline jumpers, threw down a dunk when the defense didn’t get back in time and he was effective from the high post. About the only thing he didn’t do well was convert free throws. Meantime, St. Frances 6-4 F Gordon Chase was blatantly telling a Spalding player that he wasn’t going to bother guarding him. The irony is that this same guy who indicated that defense wasn't necessary would foul out of the game in the fourth quarter. Looking for a way to energize his lethargic troops in the 2nd quarter, Glick called time out and told them that they were switching to man to man defense. The move may have been strategic, but perhaps equally as much motivational. You can’t be as stagnant when you have to chase your opponent around. Slowly, Spalding started to respond, but a comeback wouldn’t be easy, because St. Frances could smell blood. Early in the 2nd half, with Spalding creeping closer, St. Frances guard Darron Edwards threw a lob pass towards the basket, releasing the ball from just inside half court. On the other end, 6-3 teammate Gordon Brown came from the opposite side of the court to meet the pass in mid-air. The pass was a tad high and actually touched the backboard as an in-flight Brown caught it with two hands, took it off the backboard and slammed it home. The St. Frances contingent rose to their feet and Brown let out a yell to celebrate the highlight reel maneuver. The dunk put St. Frances up 32-26, but moments later Rudy Gay answered for Spalding. A baseline jumper brought Spalding to within 32-28. After a defensive stop, Gay put-back a miss to bring Spalding within two at 32-30. The stakes were raised and neither team backed off an inch the rest of the way. Down the stretch, Spalding got key contributions from an attacking Jesse Brooks and Johann Jones who came in off the bench. With things tight, Glick mentioned to Jones that he was going to have to do his part and the 6-4 sophomore responded. With Spalding defending a three point lead, he drew a charge. The ensuing trip down court to the offensive end, Jones hit a high percentage shot to push the lead to five at 55-50 with 2:40 to go. Spalding also got 10 points from Justin Castleberry. Coach William Wells’ St. Frances squad was led by Rashawn Alexander’s 18, Gordon Brown’s 18, Gordon Chase’s 9, while star guard Darnell Harris was held to just 5 points. And as a statistical note, Spalding held St. Frances (23-6) under the magical number of 60 points. That improves Spalding’s record to 19-0 when holding the opposition under 60 points. Spalding advances to meet Cardinal Gibbons at 8PM on Monday. The game will be played at Gilman.
Feb 19th 2004 by Gary Adornato Rudy Gay, Archbishop Spalding's 6'-9" senior forward, who signed with the University of Connecticut earlier this year, will be named a McDonald's High School All-American later today, has learned. Gay, who transfered to Spalding from Eastern Tech in Baltimore County, prior to his junior year, burst onto the national scene last summer with a sensational performance at the prestigious Nike camp in Indianapolis. From there his stock as a national recruit began to rise and by the time classes resumed in September many recruiting services had him ranked as a top 10 player. Long rumored to be headed to the University of Maryland, where former Spalding teammate Will Bowers signed last year, Gay eventually opted for Connecticut because of its pro-style system and the opportunity to start as a freshman. This season Gay has averaged 25-points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, leading Spalding to the second seed for the upcoming MIAA A Conference playoffs. The Cavaliers (23-6), currently ranked third in Baltimore, will open the post season on Saturday, at home, with a 2:00 pm semifinal game against the winner of tonight's quarterfinal game between #4 St. Frances and #20 Towson Catholic, at St. Frances (7:15 pm). The official announcement of the 24 boys named to play in the 27th McDonald's All-American Game will be made today at 4:30 pm, during a nationally televised broadcast to be carried live on both ESPN and ESPNews. The McDonald's Game, which will be played this year at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, is considered the premier high school all-star showcase and landing a McDonald's All-American has long been considered the top prize for any college program. Over the years the game has featured many of the game's biggest stars, including Michael Jordan, Chris Webber, Shaquille O'Neal, Vince Carter and, last year, LeBron James, among others. Gay, who will play on the East squad, is not the only member of the MIAA to participate in the game. Earlier this month, McDonald's announced that Cardinal Gibbons head coach Bob Flynn would lead the East team. The McDonald's All-American Game will take place on March 31 and it will be broadcast live on ESPN, beginning at 9:00 pm (EST).
CAVS NOW TIED FOR FIRST WHILE VIKINGS REACH BRINK OF PLAYOFF ELIMINATION Battling for its playoff life and seeking its biggest win since joining the MIAA this year, St. John's at Prospect Hall gave third-ranked Archbishop Spalding all it wanted and then some, last night in Frederick. In the end, however, an exhausted Cavalier squad, playing its third game in as many days and its second straight without star Rudy Gay, summoned just enough reserve energy to survive with a 61-57 MIAA A Conference basketball victory, which allowed it to move into a first place tie with Mount St. Joseph. Led by junior Corey Dorsey, who scored a team-high 14-points, St. John's held a three-point lead at the half and entered the fourth quarter with a two-point advantage, at 47-45. Spalding (21-4, 11-2), however, rallied behind the play of Justin Castleberry, who led the Cavs with 14- points, as well as Lawrence Dixon and Marquis Sullivan, who combined for 20-points. Gay, who injured his right ankle in the first half of Saturday's victory at McDonogh, may test it on Wednesday when Spalding hosts Loyola. If not, he hopes to be ready to go on Thursday when the Cavaliers visit #4 St. Joe in a battle for first place in the A Conference. Following that game, Spalding will travel to New Jersey to play Philadelphia's Cardinal Dougherty at Seton Hall University on Saturday, before closing its regular season schedule on Sunday with a visit to Loyola. St. John's (9-15, 4-10), which fell a full game behind Towson Catholic in the race for sixth place and the final playoff spot in the A Conference, also received 10-points from Jered Lyons. The Vikings now must win their final two games, at Towson Catholic (5-9) on Thursday and at second-ranked Cardinal Gibbons on Sunday to remain alive in the playoff hunt. Even with both of those wins, St. John's would need Towson Catholic to also lose its season finale against St. Joe, on Sunday, because the Owls hold the tiebreak advantage.
Jim Quinn on Spalding vs. TC Magazine Staff traveled to Severn, Md., on Sunday to see an exciting Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) battle between Spalding and Towson Catholic. Spalding Coach Mike Glick told us before the game, "We don't have our best player, TC doesn't have their best player - but it should be a really interesting game." Since the home team Cavliers weren't guaranteed a victory until the final 3 seconds of the contest, it was probably a little more of an "interesting game" than Glick had hoped for! Spalding had to hold off a late TC charge to get a 54-53 victory. Spalding's 6'9" super star forward Rudy Gay had sprained his ankle the day before in the Cavalier's key 49-39 MIAA "A" Conference win over a McDonogh School team that has been red hot lately. McDonogh recently upset BCL power Cardinal Gibbons by 20 points. Gay had scored only 9 points in the McDonogh game before going out with an injured ankle. Meanwhile, Mike Daniels' TC Owls were without the services of 6'4" senior Jamal Smith. Smith, a multi-positional player who has committed to attend Wagner University next year, is a long time "favorite". Smith is a tough, versatile player. Smith has missed three games with an injured ankle. MDVarsity.Com spoke to Rudy Gay before the game. The Connecticut-bound forward was on crutches and his right ankle was heavily wrapped "It is just a sprain," said Gay. "I'll be back before the (MIAA and BCL) tournaments for sure. I hope I'll be back for the game in Philedelphia (against Cardinal Dougherty at Villanova) next weekend." Without Gay available, Coach Glick looked to junior guards Marquis Sullivan and Justin Castleberry for offense. The two guards combined for 3 three pointers and 13 points in a low-scoring first half and each hit key free throws in the second half. Castleberry finished with 15 points, Sullivan with 13 points. Even without Jamal Smith, Towson Catholic is a much more dangerous team than their BCL conference record suggests. TC is 5-7 in the ultra competitive BCL this year, but is 16-9 overall. TC has three quick, talented guards in Darrell Hopkins (16 points against Spalding), Carroll Mitchell (12 points) and Derrick Wise (7 points, 4 steals) who can shoot the three ball and who are tenacious defenders. The Owls also got a very good performance from their highly promising 6'7" freshman center/forward Dante Greene. Greene is as good a freshman frontcourt player as we have seen in the area this year! An agile, athletic 190 pounder who has already developed some nice post moves, Greene really showed the crowd something when he went coast-to-coast for a lay-up after a defensive rebound in the fourth quarter against the Cavliers. Greene finished with 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 assist, and 3 steals. Grene also exhibited some toughness when the action got a little heated in the second half. Greene had 9 points in the first half, but Spalding did a very good job of denying him good looks in the second half. Spalding held a 15-13 advantage at the end of the first quarter and it looked like they might take a 4 point advantage into the locker room at halftime, but the diminutive Carroll Mitchell, a quick-on-quick 5'8" point guard, shook free at the buzzer to hit a 22-footer to cut the margin to 28-27. Glick found two unlikely heroes in the second half: 6'2" senior guard Kevin Galinat and 6'4" sophomore forward Johann Jones. In a two minute stretch at the end of the third quarter, Galinat hit 2 deep three pointers, drew a charge on a two-on-one fast break, and collected a steal as Spalding went on a 6-0 run to take a 46-41 lead. Galinat finished with 10 points for Spalding. Jones, who became a starting forward for Spalding in the last two weeks, only scored 6 points, but he had 12 rebounds and made the game's deciding play with 50 seconds remaining when he blocked a TC outside shot, caught the rebound, was fouled and converted the two free throws to push the Spalding lead to 54-49. TC hit two driving lay-ups in the last 37 seconds, but they were out of timeouts after the last basket with 3 seconds and Spalding did not need to inbound the ball into play before time expired. A relieved Coach Glick told, "That was a great win for us. I knew this was going to be a tough game. Towson is good and they play very hard. I was a little concerned how our kids would react in a close game without Rudy to be our 'go-to' guy. Justin and Marquis and Kevin really 'stepped-up' and I think Johann had the play of the game with that blocked shot. Johann had a great game for us. This was one of those games where you are just hoping you can hang in until the end and get the win." NOTES FROM SPALDING -TC: o will do a follow-up story on TC's Dante Green and his talented freshman teammate Ronald Nicholson, a 6'5 " forward. We were very impressed by both of these young players. o One of the colleges on hand to scout Spalding-TC was Lehigh University. Lehigh was reportedly on hand to scout the talented 6'2" junior guard Justin Castleberry. Coach Glick told us in an interview last week that Castleberry, an excellent student as well as a fine "combo" guard, is getting early interest from schools in leagues like the Ivy League and the Patriot Conference. o Cyaka Ndoba, TC's 6'10" 250 pound senior back-up center from Rwanda, got significant playing time in the second and fourth quarters on Sunday. Ndoba, who had little formal basketball background before arriving in Baltimore from Africa before his junior year, has greatly improved his conditioning and skill level in the last year. Cyaka had 2 blocks and 3 rebounds against Spalding and clearly was running the floor and playing within the Owls' system better than as a junior. Coach Daniels told us that Ndoba's recruitment is still a little slow taking shape, but that he is not concerned as to whether Cyaka will get any D-I college offers. "Cyaka will get some (scholarship) offers, I'm not worried about that. He's 6'10" 250 pounds and he is getting better all the time. He was really raw when he got here, but he's getting better." Ndoba's development was slowed a bit this spring and summer as he missed potentially valuable AAU experience and exposure with a couple of physical ailments, including ear surgery and a foot injury. He also had returned to Rwanda for much of the summer.
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Minus Gay, Spalding sinks McDonogh 49-39

Posted by Michael Glick at Feb 7, 2004 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
Standout leaves early with sprained ankle, but Cavs rally for 49-39 win By Pat O'Malley Sun Staff Originally published February 8, 2004 Rudy Gay didn't play the last 19 1/2 minutes, but he still helped lead the No. 4 Archbishop Spalding boys basketball team to a 49-39 victory at No. 12 McDonogh yesterday to end the Eagles' five-game winning streak. Gay sprained his right ankle and couldn't play, but his halftime plea motivated his teammates. McDonogh recently upset No. 1 Mount St. Joseph and No. 3 Cardinal Gibbons during its surge, but failed to take advantage of Gay's absence in the second half of yesterday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game. Spalding (19-4), led by Justin Castleberry's 11 points, is 9-2 in the A Conference and McDonogh (13-10) is 7-5. "It really proves that Rudy is not our whole team, even though he's a great, outstanding player," said senior Kevin Galinat, who came off the bench to score five points in the third quarter. "It's not just the Rudy Gay show. We've got a whole lot of talent on this team. And we're a team to be reckoned with." After scoring seven points in a 14-8 Spalding first quarter, Gay went down with what appeared to be a sprained right ankle. The front of his foot came down on the foot of McDonogh sophomore DaJuan Summers. Spalding had an 18-11 lead with 3:37 left in the half when the 6-foot-9 Gay, who said he thought "it was broken at first," was helped off the floor. The Cavaliers came up big with their standout watching from the bench with an ice bag around his ankle. Gay normally inspires with his flashy, high-flying game, but yesterday he was a motivational speaker. "Rudy did a good job speaking up in the locker room and being a leader, telling the guys the game's not over and that they've got to keep playing hard and get the 'W,'" Spalding coach Mike Glick said. Gay said afterward that he will likely rest the ankle for a couple of days. Seniors like 6-2 Kevin Galinat and 6-4 Matt Cornell, guys who normally don't get a lot of playing time in big games, delivered. Galinat hit a three-pointer and a two-pointer midway through the third quarter to give the Cavs a 30-26 lead after Jon Brick's three-pointer pulled McDonogh within two points. Brick led the Eagles, who were stymied by Spalding's zone, with 10 points. "We didn't expect to have that much trouble with it [zone], but we weren't very aggressive with the ball," McDonogh coach Matt MacMullan said. "That was the big difference, and their kids really stepped it up without Rudy. It says a lot about their depth." Cornell grabbed four of his five rebounds in the second half and made two free throws in fourth quarter. "Rudy is our biggest rebounder, and I had to come in there and put in a big body and get boards," Cornell said. "This was probably our biggest team win of the season." Copyright © 2004, The Baltimore Sun | Get home delivery