No. 3 St. Frances raced out to 9-0 lead to start the game, and the early cushion helped the Panthers to fend off Archbishop Spalding late in the game, as the Panthers (7-0, 2-0, 2-0) topped the No. 7 Cavaliers, 61-54, in Baltimore Catholic League/MIAA A Conference action at Spalding on Wednesday night.
The Panthers 6-foot-8 senior forward Dwayne Morgan led all scorers with 15 points, and Jared Hamilton and Khalil Richards added 12 and 11, respectively.
Spalding trailed at the half by nine (33-24), but the Cavs fought back and cut the Panther lead to six (48-42) at the end of three quarters. When Kai Dalce hit three consecutive free throws, with 3:06 to go in the game, the Cavs cut the St. Frances lead to four. After neither team could score from the field for the next four alternating possessions, the Panthers Daquan Bracey hit two free throws with 37 seconds left to help seal the win for coach Nick Myles.
Myles said, “We’ve got a real balanced team; any night it can be any kid [that steps up]. Some guys stepped up in the fourth quarter, and we started to play really, really well. We shot the ball great tonight.”
Myles had big contributions from Hamilton and Richards, who combined for 17 points in the second half.
The Panthers hit 8-of-10 clutch free throws in the final quarter when they needed them the most.
Myles said, “Dwayne (Morgan) is our leader. Tonight they played a box and one on him, so his numbers were down a little bit, but he did a lot of important things. He rebounded the ball well, he passed the ball, and he made shots at the end.”
Gary Jefferson led the Cavs with 14 points, Malik Harris added 13, and Jourdan Grant had ten.
NO. 3 ST. FRANCES 61, NO. 7 ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 54
SF 17 16 15 13 — 61
AS 9 15 18 12 — 54
St. Frances: Bracey 6, Hamilton 12, Richards 11, Morgan 15, Hawkins 6, Robinson 7, Ayemi 4.
Archbishop Spalding: Grant 10, Dalce 8, Harris 13, Jefferson 14, Meiklejohn 6, Scaggs 3.