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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 MDVarsity.com Magazine Staff MDVarsity.com 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 MDVarsity.com "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 MDVarsity.com, "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 MdVarsity.com 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
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Back In the Gym with Jim and Spalding

Posted by Michael Glick at Feb 7, 2004 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
Jim Quinn MDVarsity.com Magazine Staff The inclement, icy weather on Tuesday cost us an opportunity to see Archbishop Spalding face St. John’s Prospect Hall, but it freed up Coach Mike Glick’s time to speak to us in a far-ranging interview discussing this year’s Cavalier team, superstar forward Rudy Gay, ASHS’ basketball future. When MDVarsity.com went “In The Gym” with Coach Glick and his team at the Severn, Maryland, Catholic High School in early November, the veteran coach was optimistic that the Cavaliers could compete for the MIAA “A” Conference and Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) championships in 2003-2004 even though they had lost a lot of talent to graduation. The Cavaliers lost two Division I college frontcourt players in 7’ Will Bowers (Maryland) and 6’5” Gus Durr Jr. (Mt. St. Mary’s), as well as three key substitute/part time starters at guard in Matt Latonick, Dave Douglas, and Tim Brackney, from a 26-7 team that had played in several top national tournaments during the season and had lost a heartbreaking decision by one point to Mt. St. Joe’s in the BCL Championship game in front of 2,700 fans at Goucher College. What Spalding DID return, however, was 6’ 8 ¾” 215 pound forward Rudy Gay, the top player in the Baltimore-Washington region and a national top ten prospect. When we went “In The Gym”, it was four days before Gay announced for the University of Connecticut – thus ending one of the fiercest and most publicized basketball recruiting battles ever waged in the state of Maryland (no small feat given the history of great players and notorious recruiting battles produced in the Free State). The recruiting war and the subsequent publicity has certainly not effected Rudy’s play on the court. The willowy inside-outside player, as proficient at draining long range three pointers as he is at blocking shots and throwing down highlight reel dunks, is averaging 22.5 points, 10 rebounds, 4.5 blocks for the 18-4 Cavaliers. He has made 44 three pointers, hitting over 35% of his attempts beyond the arc. Gay has converted 61.7% of his two point field goal attempts and over 70% of his free throw attempts. “Those rebounding and blocked shots are not inflated,” said Glick. “Those are legitimate numbers. And he is getting his 22 points a game against double and triple teams. He’s an All-American and he gets a lot of attention from opposing defenses, but he keeps putting up the numbers. The statistics aside, Rudy has had a GREAT year. He has been great in the clutch. If he isn’t (the Baltimore) Player of the Year, there ought to be a criminal investigation. Rudy is going to be a McDonald’s All-American this year and he has already been chosen to play in the Hoops Summit at the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio. That game features the twelve best American high school players against the twelve best under -20 players in Europe.” Gay clearly has been the key to the Cavaliers getting off to an 18-4 start this year, but, even though he is the ONLY double-figure scorer on this year’s team, Glick is quick to point out that several other players are having very good seasons. “I’m real happy with my three juniors, they have all had pretty good seasons and played real well at times. Marquis Sullivan (a 6’ wing guard from Westminster, Md.) is our second leading scorer, he is just under 10 points a game, he is a very good shooter. He got off to a fast start this year, he has tailed off a bit lately, but I think he’ll finish strong. He is a very good offensive player, I’d like his defense to improve a little, but he is a good player. I think he’ll be a low D-I, mid D-I college prospect,” said Glick. “Justin Castleberry (a much publicized 6’2” combo guard who transferred in from DeMatha) has played real well lately, we have played Justin at the “1” (point guard) and the “2” (wing guard) this year. He started a game at the point. He is averaging about 8 points a game, but he hit the overtime game-winner against Calvert Hall and just scored 15 points in our second win over St. Frances. He is going to have a real good senior season, I think. I think Justin will be an Ivy League or Patriot League player in college,”said Glick “Our third junior, Lawrence Dixon (a slender, athletic 6’5” forward from Columbia, MD) got off to a slow start because he had a groin injury in the preseason, but he is really starting to come around. He is a very good athlete and has improved his skills. He got to play a lot as a sophomore last year, even when Will (Bowers) and Gus (Durr) were here. Lawrence is already getting attention from colleges in leagues like the Colonial and the MAC. We need for him to play well the rest of the year for us to finish well in the MIAA and BCL,” said Glick. Senior point guard Jesse Brooks, who got his “Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame” (whether he and the Spalding community wanted it or not) when he took an official recruiting visit to Connecticut during the final days of “Rudy-Mania”, the media frenzy that focused on Gay’s recruitment last Fall, has had a solid year as Spalding’s floor general. Brooks, a 5’11” resident of nearby Odenton, Md., who is known for his heady floor leadership and tough defense, is a three-year starter at the point for Glick. “Jesse has had a pretty good year, but, as a senior I’d really like to see him step-up and take charge down the stretch. He is actually, I think, like third in the Baltimore area in assists, so he has played pretty well,” said Glick. Actually, as of the start of the week, Brooks’ 6.5 assists per game was the second best average in the Baltimore area. Brooks had interest from Towson and St. Francis of Pennsylvania in the fall, though, according to Glick, “I’m not real sure where his recruiting is right now.” Glick has used 6’2” senior Kevin Galinat as both a shooting guard and small forward. “Kevin is a solid, smart, tough player,” said Glick. “He has gotten into all of our games this year. He hustles and shots well and passes well.” Glick said that Galinat, a Clarksville, MD resident who is a very good student, is getting looks from several D-III colleges. Glick, who in the past has not hesitated to use ten or eleven player rotations, has used several different frontcourt combinations this year. In addition to Dixon, and sometimes, Galinat, playing forward up front with Rudy Gay, the Cavalier frontcourt has featured 6’11” 236 pound senior center Jason Loughery, 6’4” sophomore forward Johann Jones, and 6’3” senior forward Matt Cornell. Loughery, who backed Bowers at center as a sophomore and junior, had a strong summer and drew interest from over a half a dozed D-I programs before committing early to Mt. St. Mary’s, where he will join Durr and another former Spalding standout, guard Landy Thompson. “Jason has improved a lot this year,” said Glick. “Jason’s playing time is dictated by how well he is playing and by the opposing team’s match-ups. I think he has had a good season and he has definitely shown a LOT of improvement over the last two years.” Jones, who played JV last year as a freshman, was described by Glick as his “surprise sophomore” in the preseason. “Johann is a terrific rebounder. He is an active ‘high-energy’ player who rebounds and plays good defense. We have started him in five of the last eight games. He has been a real key addition this year.’ Cornell is a rugged player on loan from the Spalding lacrosse program. Cornell, who committed early to play lacrosse at Ohio State, is an effective defender and rebounder. “Matt hasn’t gotten a lot of minutes this year, but we have used him in every game. He plays smart and plays hard and gives us nice depth at forward,” said Glick. Glick is also hoping that rugged 6’5” 250 pound junior Anthony Angion might get into the rotation for the regular season and playoff stretch run. Angion was a standout on the Cavalier JV last year but injured his leg last April and missed the entire summer season and has made only a couple of token appearances this season. Glick said that Angion is nearly healthy and ready to go. “Anthony has basically been down (injured) since April, but I think he is very close to getting back. That would really help our depth.” All things considered, Glick is ecstatic to be 18-4 at this point. The Cavaliers are ranked No. 3 in Baltimore by the Baltimore Sun. “Our schedule has been BRUTAL this year. The BCL is tougher than ever, this is the toughest it has been since I got here (five years ago). In the past, I always conceded that the Washington Catholic league (the WCAC) was probably tougher than the BCL, but, this year, at least at the top of the league, I think the BCL is tougher. The WCAC is a hell of a tough league, but this year, I really believe that our four best teams in the BCL are tougher than the top of the WCAC. Mt. St. Joe’s, cardinal Gibbons, and St. Frances are all great teams. I think that between them and our team, the BCL and MIAA Tournaments are really going to be tough. Plus, in the MIAA Tournament, you add McDonough. McDonough is really tough as well, they beat Gibbons by 20 points the other day and two days later, Gibbons beat us by 15. McDonough has some terrific players. We lost to Gibbons by 75-60 at their place on Sunday and it isn’t like we played that bad. Gibbons is that good! Gibbons is one of those rare teams that have three kids (6’6” forward Brett Foelber, 6’8” center Leon Williams, and 6’2” guard Ken Hasbrouck) who are good enough to go out and get 20 points every night if they have to. I think this is (Gibbons Coach) Bob Flynn’s best team. St. Frances is very tough, we were very fortunate to beat them twice – we had to play great in both games. Mt. St. Joe’s already got us once. They are very talented and have some great guards.” Beyond a tough BCL slate, Spalding has faced a tough non-conference schedule as well. “Like I said, out schedule has been brutal. We have some very good wins in the league. Outside of the league, we’ve beaten St. Alban’s, Notre Dame, Dudley of North Carolina which is a very good team, Good Counsel from the WCAC, St. John’s Neuman of Philly, that was a good team, and Woodlawn from Baltimore County is pretty good. We lost to Edgewater of Florida, which, of course, is a nationally ranked team. The only game I felt really bad about was the loss to Eleanor Roosevelt. Roosevelt is a good team and they played well and deserved to win, but we just didn’t show up and play hard. I was very disappointed in our effort,” said Glick. How does Glick feel about the Cavalier’s chances of closing out the 2003-2004 season strong with regular season and tournament championships in the MIAA “A” Conference and the BCL? “It’s a cliché, but, it is all out in front of us the next three to four weeks. Teams like us, Gibbons, St. Joe’s, St. Frances, we are all so close – look at all of the close games and overtime games we have had. I like our chances, but we’ll see. I kind of feel like if Rudy keeps playing at this really high, really great level that he is playing at and a few of the younger kids keep getting better and the other seniors ‘step-up’ a bit, that, yes, we have a shot.” Coach Glick is aware that some Baltimore prep basketball followers expect the Cavaliers to fall back into the middle of the BCL pack after Rudy Gay graduates and moves on to Storrs, Connecticut, but Glick is confident that Spalding will remain at the top of the increasingly competitive and increasingly more talented BCL. “I think we’ll still be good next season, I don’t see it as a rebuilding year,” said Glick. “Like I said, I really like my junior class and I think all of those players will have big senior years next year. Our sophomore class is pretty good, too. Our JV is 16-2 and first in the league this year. We’ll get a few kids off of this JV to help the varsity next year.” Glick is also optimistic about the long-term future of Spalding basketball. “We get our new gymnasium in two years, for the 2005-2006 season, that will help us attract players.” Spalding’s strong academic standing also helps the basketball program recruit players (for example, 5 years ago Will Bowers turned down a full academic scholarship from a rival BCL school because his parents were impressed with Spalding’s curriculum). Sometimes, it costs Glick a potential recruit (or two), but Glick has found out it makes running his program easier in the long run. “We lost (an outstanding guard at another BCL school) because we couldn’t get him through the Admissions Office. He wanted to come here, but…He’s a great player and he has come back to hurt us on the court , but that is the way it goes. I liked the kid and his mother and I helped them pick the other BCL school. We couldn’t get (a good WCAC player) into school and he and his father were upset, but, again, that will happen once in a while. The good news is that we get good kids and good students. I’ve only had to remove one player from my team since I’ve been here, and that kid was a good student and a good kid, I liked the kid, but it wasn’t in anyone’s best interest for him to stay here and play. Our kids qualify (under the NCAA academic guidelines) and we develop our players. Not all of them go D-I, but we get our other student-athletes into good academic D-II and D-III schools. We are a nationally known high school basketball program, we get invited to prestigious tournaments. I like where our program is and I think we are going to win some more titles here.” We asked Coach Glick if he is aware of the “gymnasium rumors” and Internet message board “chat” that Spalding will be getting one or two high profile transfers next year. In the interest of confidentiality, we did not discuss specific names, but Coach Glick was clear that Spalding will consider possible transfers – assuming also that the player qualifies academically and accepts the school’s terms of the transfer. “We might get a couple of transfers. We might not. I don’t have a problem taking a good player as a transfer if the player meets the admissions standards and is a good fit as a player and a person. We certainly aren’t the only private school around that has taken transfers,” said Glick. “Frankly, some people focus on Spalding taking transfers because I am considered a ‘controversial’ coach. That stuff goes back to when I was a really young head coach at Pallotti High School in Laurel and I was trying to build a WCAC power at an unknown school. I was like 26, 27 years old and I’m coaching and recruiting against DeMatha, Gonzaga, St. John’s, all of those schools. My staff and I were young guys and we very visible and aggressive and we had Pallotti right there at the top of the WCAC, “ said Glick. "If you look at the couple of highly publicized transfers we took, could you argue that it was a bad decision for us or the player?” said Glick. “Rudy came in here from Eastern (Eastern Tech in Baltimore County) and he’s leaving here fully qualified academically, a McDonald’s All-American, he got recruited by every big D –I college in the country. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to take credit for Rudy doing so well and I’m not saying he couldn’t have accomplished some of these things at Eastern Tech, but it certainly worked out well for Rudy and for Spalding. Justin (Castleberry) is very happy here and playing well and he’ll get to a very good college. I like getting kids in here as ninth graders and developing them as players, but I don’t think you should generalize about transfers.” MDVarsity.com will be covering the BCL Tournament again this year, we have no doubt that it will be as exciting as the 2002-2003 Tournament. SPALDING NOTES: Three of the top players on the Cavalier’s 16-2 JV are Prince George’s County residents. Coach Glick said that sophomore guards Daniel Palumbo (a transfer from DeMatha who is from Bowie) and Derrick Young (a transfer point guard from Suitland HS) have had outstanding seasons and are good varsity candidates for 2004-2005. Glick is also high on rugged 6’3” 250 pound freshman Rickey Congo from Bowie. We met Rickey and his father, who is 6’8” and who played collegiately at Drexel, when we went “In the Gym” in November. Spalding’s reserve forward Jason Bisciotti , a junior who also plays baseball, is the son of the Baltimore Raven owner, Steve Bisciotti. No team can testify to what a great senior season that Rudy Gay has had better than BCL title contender St. Frances. In Spalding’s first game against the Panthers this year, Gay had 35 points, 10 blocks, and 12 rebounds in a 79-67 Cavalier victory. The Panthers were ranked No. 1 in Baltimore at the time. In the rematch last Friday, Gay had 33 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks in a 75-71 victory.
Spalding tops St. Frances as Gay gets hot, scores 33 Cavaliers take second from Panthers, 75-71 By Pat O'Malley Sun Staff Originally published January 31, 2004 To say that St. Frances brings out the best in Archbishop Spalding's Rudy Gay is an understatement. Gay loves to play against the East Baltimore basketball team, and there last night, the 6-foot-9 standout led No. 3-ranked Spalding to its second win of the season over the No. 6 Panthers, this time by 75-71. The University of Connecticut-bound senior scored 33 points, grabbed 14 rebounds (12 defensive) and blocked three shots. Gay scored 21 points in the second half, including 14 in the last quarter, as the Cavaliers (18-3) pulled away. The game wasn't as close as the final score indicated. The Cavaliers, who shot a 52 percent (24-for-46) as a team, had a 70-61 lead with 25 seconds left. The Cavaliers finished with just five offensive rebounds, none in the first half. Justin Castleberry and Lawrence Dixon added 15 and 12 points, respectively, to complement Gay, who got word yesterday from Hoop Summit that he will be one of the nation's top 12 high school players to play against a 20-and-under all-star team from Europe at during the NCAA men's Final Four in San Antonio. Gay's effort last night overshadowed a superior inside game by Gus Chase of St. Frances (15-5). Chase led the Panthers with 22 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Darnell Harris chipped in 20 points. In the first meeting between the two teams this season, on Jan. 4, St. Frances was ranked No. 1, and Gay put up career numbers in points (35) and blocks (10) to go with 12 rebounds in a 79-67 Cavaliers victory. Gay called it his "best game" in two years at Spalding. Last night, Gay said, "My shots weren't really falling in the first half, but my team got me the ball in the second half, and they started falling. I guess [St. Frances] gets me on a good day." Gay, who was 8-for-10 from the free-throw line, hit only four of 11 from the field in the first half as the Cavaliers fell behind 39-36. But he made seven of eight, including two of his three three-pointers, in the final 16 minutes. Spalding coach Mike Glick credited Gay with keeping the 6-4 Chase off the offensive boards in the second half, because "Chase was really hurting us until the fourth quarter." Spalding has taken eight of 10 games, including three straight, from the Panthers over the five years that Glick has been the Cavaliers' coach. Copyright © 2004, The Baltimore Sun | Get home delivery