After No. 16 Archbishop Spalding’s 29-point loss to No. 5 Digital Harbor on Wednesday, Cavaliers head coach Derrick Lewis stopped his players from heading into the locker room.
“First of all, these guys owed me from two nights ago,” he said referring to the game against Digital Harbor. “After that game, we shook hands and they started walking to the locker room. I said, ‘Don’t go to the locker room, we’re getting ready to practice.’ There was a ball on the floor, I picked it up and we practiced for a good 25 minutes.”
He added: “What made me mad was that they practiced harder than they played in the game.”
There was no lack of effort on Friday night as Spalding responded with a hard-fought, 72-65 victory over visiting, No. 18 Glenelg Country in the season’s first VSN/Fox45 Game of the Week. Highlights from the selected Game of the Week will be featured on Friday night’s edition of Sports Unlimited.
Senior forward Eric Fisher scored a game-high 29 points, including 21 in the second half, to power the Cavaliers (4-3 overall). Garrett Snoops had 15 points and Greg Brown added 14.
“That extra practice was motivation enough,” Fisher said. “We needed this win. Digital Harbor came in here and killed us. We had to make a statement with this game. I was not going to let my team lose.”
Point guard Cesar Jove-Vives scored 14 points and shot 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to spark the Dragons (4-1). Junior center Isaiah Miles had 15 points and sophomore forward Warren Powers added 13. Both Miles and Powers fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Trailing by nine points with 4:30 remaining in the game, Glenelg went on a 10-2 run, capped by two free throws by Jove-Vives, to close its deficit to one at 58-57.
But as he had done all night when his team needed an answer, Fisher made a play. The senior was fouled and hit both free throw attempts. He followed with an and-one bucket in the paint and Snoops added two free throws to give Spalding some breathing room.
The Cavaliers went 14-of-17 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to hold off the Dragons’ comeback attempt. Fisher closed the game with two more made freebies with 7.2 seconds left.
“I’m happy that we didn’t fold up like a tent at the end because you would have seen us practicing again,” Lewis said.
Glenelg was ahead by two at the half, 29-27, and led 39-35 after a steal and layup by Ben Jordan before Fisher took over in the third quarter. He scored 11 points in the third, including five in a 9-0 run that gave the host Cavs a lead they would never lose.
Miles (6-foot-7) fouled out at the 5:35 mark in the fourth quarter and Powers (6-foot-5) followed with 2:58 left. With two of their top players relegated to the bench, the Dragons continued to fight. Junior forward Lawrence Davis scored six late points and Jove-Vives’ free throws kept their team close.
Glenelg was looking for another notch in its belt with a win over an A Conference opponent. Last season, the B Conference team knocked off John Carroll for the program’s first marque upset.
“Glenelg is a good team. They are very physical,” Lewis said. “Everybody wants to talk about the difference between the A Conference and the B Conference, but that line has been blurred. Those guys can play and this was a good victory for us.”
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|No. 16 Archbishop Spalding 72, No. 18 Glenelg Country 65|
Jordan 6, Davis 9, Jove-Vives 14, Powers 13, Miles 15, Boyd 8. Totals 19 24-31 65.
Brown 14, Kemp 2, Fisher 29, Snoops 15, Dalce 2, Potts 2, Grey 2, Washington 6. Totals 26 16-24 72.