The No. 1 Archbishop Spalding girls basketball team dominated the first half of its game against No. 2 Seton Keough on Friday night.  The Cavaliers, ranked No. 25 nationally in the latest USA Today Super 25 Poll,  had a commanding 34-18 lead at halftime and it appeared as if they would run the visiting Gators right out of the gym.

But a poised Seton Keough squad battled all the way back to tie the score at 44-44 and force overtime.  The Gators threatened late but timely free throws helped Spalding claim the victory, 63-58, in double overtime.

“All the credit to Seton Keough, my gosh, they just never gave up,” said Spalding coach Bookie Rosemond. “We got a little complacent and they got us out of the game that we wanted to play.”

He added: “To our credit, our girls could have folded because [Keough] had mister momentum on their side. They fought through, we got some critical rebounds, made some big foul shots and it was a heck of a high school basketball game…We’ll take the win.”

Senior forward Shaquilla Curtis led the Cavaliers (8-1 overall, 3-0 IAAM A Conference) with 16 points and seven rebounds. Point guard Brya Freeland added 15, while sophomore forward Camille Calhoun added eight points and six boards.

Senior forward Achiri Ade had a game-high 19 points and eight rebounds.  Shooting guard Amber Singletary had 17 for Seton Keough (4-3, 3-1).

In the third quarter, the Gators went on a 9-0 run, with eight points coming from Camille Hines, to push the Cavaliers’ 19-point led down to 10 point entering the fourth quarter.

“Camille came off the bench and gave us a huge spark and once that happened, our entire demeanor changed,” Seton Keough coach Jackie Boswell said.

Despite being outscored 11-4 to start the final quarter, Spalding held onto a slim 45-41 advantage with about two minutes to play after Freeland knocked down a pair of free throws.  Keough answered with a bucket by Ade and junior guard Aaliyah Wilson (seven points) made two foul shots with 53.1 remaining.

With the game tied at 45-45 and the clock winding down, Freeland made a move to the bucket but missed her shot.  Senior guard Maggie Morrison corralled the long rebound in the corner and fired an off-balance three attempt that missed, forcing overtime.

“[Spalding] is a great team and you can’t get down on a great team like that but I am really, really proud of our kids,” said Boswell.  “It’s early December and let’s face it, we’re going to play them a couple more times this year so we’ve got a lot of things we still need to work on but I am very proud of the heart we showed tonight.”

In the first overtime, each team scored seven points to force another extra session.  Ade made a basket and hit three free throws to go along with a Singletary jumper for the Gators.  Freeland made four straight freebies and Morrison added a jumper for the Cavaliers.

With Wilson and 6-foot-4 center Liz Brown fouled out, Seton Keough had trouble scoring in the second overtime.  Spalding went 5-for-8 from the free throw line and Raven Makins (eight points), Curtis and Sharae Swinson scored to help the area’s top ranked team escape with a 63-58 victory.

“We got too comfortable in the third and fourth quarters and let our lead slip away,” Freeland said. “But overtime is our time, so we just had to keep going, putting in the effort with hard work and intensity and we came out with the win.”

Curtis added: “We went to overtime with Riverdale [Baptist] and won by 11 points. It’s just a point where we have to show everyone that we still have heart and no matter what, we’re still going to fight.”

Note: Before the contest, Spalding’s girls basketball team took donations as a part of the Susan G. Koman Passionately Pink for the Cure program.  Susan G. Koman supports life-saving research, education, screenings and treatment programs in the fight to end breast cancer forever. Donations can be made at Spalding’s girls basketball website.


No. 1 Archbishop Spalding 63, No. 2 Seton Keough 58 2OT
Seton Keough:
Frazer 3, Wilson 7, Singletary 17, Ade 19, Brown 2, Hines 10. 
Freeland 15, Makins 8, Swinson 8, Curtis 16, Morrison 8, Calhoun 8.