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Defense, size edge help Cavs hold off McDonogh, answer coach's challenge By Jeff Zrebiec Sun Staff Originally published March 4, 2003 Archbishop Spalding will make its fourth Baltimore Catholic League tournament final appearance in the past five years tonight, and the Cavaliers can thank a stern Sunday lecture from coach Mike Glick. Disappointed in his team's performance in a six-point victory over Calvert Hall in Sunday's quarterfinals, Glick scolded his team in the locker room after the game. The Cavaliers responded last night. Relying on a tough zone defense and a huge advantage inside, the eighth-ranked Cavaliers downed No. 9 McDonogh, 53-47, at Goucher College in the first of two BCL semifinals. The Cavaliers' third victory over the Eagles this season vaulted them into tonight's 7:30 final against Mount St. Joseph, a 58-55 winner over St. Frances in the nightcap. Spalding (24-5) trailed for just the first 2 1/2 minutes before opening up a double-digit lead that it maintained late into the third quarter. McDonogh made a run, cutting its deficit to 49-44 with under two minutes to play, but the veteran Cavaliers refused to fold down the stretch. "I thought we played very tentatively on Sunday and I challenged the team," Glick said. "I thought we were in awe of the moment, but tonight, I thought we seized it. We played more unselfishly and more aggressively and that was the difference." Nobody seemed to get Glick's message any clearer than Cavaliers senior Will Bowers. The 7-foot center, headed for the University of Maryland, touched the ball early and often on both ends of the court. In what Glick called his best performance all season in a BCL game, Bowers had 21 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. The Eagles, whose biggest player, Michael Popoko, is 6-6, were pesky all night but had no answer for Bowers and 6-7 junior Rudy Gay, who had 12 points, seven rebounds and five blocks. "I played with more of a what-do-I-have-to-lose attitude," Bowers said. "I just wanted to be more aggressive and take the ball to the hole and draw fouls." Said Gay: "We are just much bigger and rebound better and I think that's why we came out with three victories over them." Bowers had nine points and four rebounds in the fourth quarter. That and the Cavaliers' zone defense, which limited the Eagles to 2-for-9 shooting in the first quarter, were the prime reasons McDonogh trailed 31-17 at halftime. "We just weren't moving the ball enough early," said Eagles coach Matt MacMullan, whose team ended its season at 25-5. "But Spalding played great and they deserved to win." The Eagles, led by Popoko's 16 points and nine rebounds, certainly deserve credit for not going away. Trailing 37-21 early in the third quarter, the Eagles got back into the game on two baseline three-pointers from junior guard Corey Davis. The second one cut the Cavaliers' lead to 39-31. Popoko's put-back and Justin Drummond's pull-up jumper made it 48-43 with 2:30 to play. Two minutes later, Drummond, fouled while attempting a three-pointer, sank all three free throws to make it 51-47. But the Cavaliers broke the Eagles' press and Gay made a baseline layup with 20 seconds left to seal the deal. "We played in national tournaments to prepare for this tournament," Glick said. "And then we played scared on Sunday. But we didn't tonight, and I don't think we will tomorrow." Copyright © 2003, The Baltimore Sun
MIAA/BCL TOURNAMENT: SPALDING, ST. JOE, MCDONOGH & ST. FRANCES REACH SEMIFINALS Cavs to meet Eagles, Gaels to battle Panthers tonight by Tim Koelble 03/03/2003 Archbishop Spalding opened the four-game affair and defense of its title with a 52-46 victory over 7th-seeded Calvert Hall on Sunday at Goucher College in the quarterfinals of the 32nd annual Baltimore Catholic League Tournament. Top-seeded Mount St. Joseph advanced with a 54-44 win over 8th-seed Towson Catholic. In the third game of the day, 3rd-seeded McDonogh went overtime to defeat 6th-seeded St. Maria Goretti, 47-39. To top off the evening, 4th-seeded St. Frances downed 5th-seed Cardinal Gibbons, 72-60. In today’s semifinals, second-seeded Archbishop Spalding meets McDonogh at 5 p.m. and the nightcap will pit top-seeded Mount St. Joseph against St. Frances at 6:45 p.m. The winners return to Goucher College Tuesday night for the championship battle at 7:30. During the regular season Spalding defeated McDonogh twice while St. Frances and St. Joe split, including St. Frances’ 54-52 upset win over the Gaels on February 25. ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 52, CALVERT HALL 46 Archbishop Spalding (23-5) easily handled Calvert Hall twice during the regular season, but found the going tougher en route to its 52-46 quarterfinal victory. “This is tournament time and I hope we learned a lot today and come out Monday not so tentative,” said Spalding coach Mike Glick. “We were tentative, but we made pressure free throws.” Spalding hit 19-of-27 for the game, including 17-of-22 in the second half and five each from Jesse Brooks and Dave Douglas down the stretch. “I thought Brooks and Lawrence Dixon did very well off the bench for us,” Glick said. Dixon contributed four-points and got his first BCL tournament experience as a sophomore. Calvert Hall (14-16) was led by senior Jack McClinton, who finished his career with 20-points, including 14 in the second half. Junior Maurice Martin had a yeoman performance with 14-points and 14-rebounds, most coming in the second half as he constantly battled Spalding’s big front line of 7-footer Will Bowers and the 6’-7” Rudy Gay. Martin also went to the line seven times, the only trips the Cardinals made in the contest. “We were able to make adjustments that kept us in the game,” said Calvert coach Mark Amatucci. “We just have to play a completely correct game to beat a team like Spalding.” Archbishop Spalding 52 Bowers 6-1-13, Brooks 1-8-11, Gay 1-3-5, Douglas 3-6-12, Latonick 0-1-1, Dixon 2-0-4, Durr 3-0-6. Totals 16-19-52. Calvert Hall 46 McClinton 9-0-20, Phillips 2-0-4, Thompson 2-0-4, Morton 1-0-2, Martin 6-2-14, Driver 1-0-2. Spalding 13 12 6 21 – 52 Calvert Hall 9 3 14 20 – 46 Three-point goals—(AS) Brooks; (CH) McClinton 2.
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Cavaliers' Big Men Help Slam Competition

Posted by Michael Glick at Feb 21, 2003 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
Senior Bowers, Junior Gay Focus On MIAA Crown Members of the Mount St. Joseph's and Spalding boys' basketball teams play before a packed gym. The Cavaliers lost, 63-57, and are the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. (Photos Don Wright For The Washington Post) By Heather A. Dinich Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, February 20, 2003; Page AA15 In the first game of the season, Spalding 7-foot senior center Will Bowers slammed a two-handed dunk at the Morgan Wootten Invitational at the University of Maryland Comcast Center, his future home court. Junior forward Rudy Gay, a 6-7 forward, jammed an alley-oop pass with 32 seconds remaining to seal the 56-52 win in that game against nationally ranked Archbishop Molloy of New York. Together, Gay and Bowers had four dunks in the tournament. The tone for the season was set. Entering this week, Gay, a transfer from Eastern Tech in Baltimore, led the team with 14.1 points and seven rebounds per game. Bowers followed with 11.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. The pair of big men has led the Cavaliers to national prominence and a possible second-place finish in the combined Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's A-Conference/Baltimore Catholic League. "Will and Rudy complement each other excellently," said Spalding Coach Mike Glick. "Both players have the ability to play inside, both have the ability to pass the basketball inside and shoot the ball from the outside. They're both very versatile players. "As a coach, it puts me in a very advantageous position to be able to pull one of them away from the basket while keeping the other one in. I think they have a great rapport with each other. There is competition amongst themselves in practice, but never in a game. I don't think either Rudy or Will cares who scores or rebounds as long as we win, which is rare to find these days." Gay and Bowers are Glick's most recent success stories -- 16 of his previous players have gone on to play Division I basketball. And this pair, along with a deep supporting lineup, has provided the Cavaliers their third 20-victory season in four years. Spalding had been unstoppable at home this season until Friday, when they lost to Mount St. Joseph, 63-57. The Cavaliers final regular season game against Loyola was postponed Sunday. The Cavaliers are the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, which was scheduled to begin Friday at Goucher College but could be changed because of weather. Spalding (21-5, 12-3) entered the week having won 13 of its last 15 games. Bowers and Gay work together off the court, too. Bowers, who has committed to the University of Maryland, is helping Gay navigate the sometimes overwhelming recruiting process. "The same coaches are coming at me that were coming at him," Gay said. "He tells me about them and what he likes and what he doesn't. He doesn't want to see me going anywhere I probably wouldn't be pleased with later. Of course, he's trying to press me to go to Maryland." Gay and Bowers compete differently -- Gay likes to take more fadeaway jumpers and calls himself more of a "finesse" player. Bowers drives hard and draws the fouls. Both of them, Glick said, are very hard on themselves. "In film sessions, they are critical of their performances," Glick said. "They tend not to make excuses. They take responsibility. Will and Rudy are very coachable kids." With defenses keying in on Bowers, Gay has been free to score -- he contributed 33 points in last week's 74-65 win against St. Francis while Bowers was held to two points. Against Mount St. Joseph, Bowers led the team with 16 points, and Gay added 11. "I don't think it would be worth anything if we didn't play together," said Gay, who scored all of Spalding's points in a 9-2 run with less than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. "We wouldn't be winning like we are. We have a great team. They take a lot of pressure off us. We just complement everything they do." The pair does get some help. Junior point guard Jesse Brooks leads the team with 5.5 assists per game, and senior Dave Douglas is the team's top defensive player. Douglas said he wouldn't have reached his potential this year without being pushed by his teammates. "It makes me better as a player," said Douglas, who scored a career-high 17 points last week against St. Francis. "I know if I go to the hole soft, it's getting sent to half court or I might get dunked on at practice. "I have to look out for certain things other people might not have to look out for. It helps everyone in the long run. People also double-team Will a lot; that's how I've been getting a lot of my points. "It's been a great experience," Douglas said. "I've known Jesse and Will since I was small, we grew up playing together. You add Rudy, and you have a special team." © 2003 The Washington Post Company
Cavaliers pull even with St. Joe, host Gaels this Friday 02/13/2003 Junior transfer Rudy Gay scored a season-high 33-points and Dave Douglas added 17-points to lead #6 Archbishop Spalding to a critical 74-65 MIAA A Conference victory over #10 St. Frances, last night at Spalding. It was the seventh straight win for the defending champions of the A Conference and the Baltimore Catholic League, and it pulled the Cavaliers (24-2, 12-2 BCL, and 10-2 in the A Conference) even with #3 Mount St. Joseph, atop the standings in both leagues. St. Joe, which has won 16 consecutive games, will travel to Spalding this Friday, at 7:00 pm, to meet the Cavaliers in a first-place showdown that, in all likelyhood, will determine the regular season champion and the top seed for next week's MIAA A/BCL Tournament, to be held at Goucher College.
Late free throws boost No. 6 Cavs; poor shooting dooms 8th-ranked Eagles By Pat O'Malley Sun Staff Originally published February 9, 2003 McDonogh coach Matt MacMullan had a tough time dealing with his host and No. 8 Eagles' 53-44 loss to No. 6 Archbishop Spalding yesterday in a key Baltimore Catholic League/Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game. "I was frustrated with the way we lost, because I felt we had some shots we should make and didn't make," said MacMullan, whose Eagles shot just 2-for-16 (12.5 percent) from the field in the third period, 6-for-27 (22 percent) in the second half and 16-for-55 (29 percent) overall. Spalding didn't shoot much better (15-for-42, 36 percent), but won the game on the foul line in the final period. Will Bowers led the Cavaliers with a game-high 17 points, The Cavaliers, who were beginning a stretch of six games in nine days, including a noon contest today at No. 18 Cardinal Gibbons, converted 10 of 12 at the line to outscore the Eagles 14-6 in the last eight minutes. The result left the two teams and No. 3 Mount St. Joseph tied in the loss column atop the combined circuit. McDonogh (22-3) is tied for first with Mount St. Joseph (22-2), whom the Eagles play host to at 6 p.m. Tuesday, at 11-2. Spalding (18-4), which has beaten McDonogh twice, is a game behind in third place at 9-2. "Everybody had to step it up because Rudy [Gay] was a little under the weather," said Spalding point guard Jesse Brooks, who had nine points and seven assists. "We handled ourselves well under pressure. Now we ... can win [the league title]." Gay, Spalding's leading scorer (14.7), is battling the flu and scored six points while playing sporadically. His two-handed dunk off a pass from Brooks with two minutes left gave the Cavaliers a 49-43 lead. McDonogh forged a 28-23 halftime lead behind Mike Popoko, who had a game-high 10 rebounds (eight defensive) and scored seven of his 11 points in the second period. Spalding started the second half with an 8-2 run, as Gus Durr, who led his team in rebounds with six, scored four of his six points. Tim Brackney's three-pointer ended the third period and gave Spalding a 39-38 lead. The 7-foot Bowers opened the final period with a basket to make it 41-38 and later made four straight free throws down the stretch. Spalding mixed in a triangle-and-two defense with a box-and-one to hold Corey Davis (12 points) scoreless in the final period. Davis had made two of his trio of three-pointers in the third period. "It was Josh Pratt's idea to go to the triangle-and-two at the end of the game and it was key to the win," said Spalding coach Mike Glick of his JV coach. McDonogh's last field goal was by Justin Drummond (eight points) with 4:30 left in the game. Copyright © 2003, The Baltimore Sun