After dominating the area, John Carroll School boys’ and Archbishop Spalding girls’ basketball teams will have a final encore on the national stage. The two private programs will participate in the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational next weekend at Georgetown Prep.

“It’s a quite a reward for our seniors to end their careers on national television,” said Spalding coach Bookie Rosemond. “We’ve nothing but good things about the tournament.”

The IAAM A Conference champ Cavaliers will be part of a five-team girls’ field, and will play at either 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. in a semifinal game Apr. 1. The Severn school was ranked nationally for most of the 2011 portion of the basketball campaign before losing twice at the Bishop Walsh Invitational in Cumberland two weeks ago.

Spalding, seeded No.  1, will play either Florida’s Dr. Phillips or Riverdale Baptist from Upper Marlboro. Dr. Phillips (31-2, ranked 44th nationally) won the 6A state crown.  The Panthers are led by freshman Taryn Griffey, daughter of future Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.

Riverdale Baptist (28-5; No. 11 ESPN RISE; No. 22 USA Today) lost to Spalding back in December at the Breezy Bishop Showcase at the Poly-Western complex. The victory pushed the Cavaliers into the conversation of the nation’s top programs. Archbishop Spalding won its bracket at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona before going undefeated in the IAAM A, claiming its first league crown since 2001.

The Cavaliers’ losses came against D.C.’s St. John’s (No. 13 ESPN RISE and No. 14 USA Today), Shabazz from New Jersey (No. 10 USA Today and No. 11 ESPN RISE), and Washington Catholic Athletic Conference strongholds Good Counsel (No. 5 in Washington Post) and Holy Cross (No. 6 in Washington Post).

Rosemond said the Cavaliers will get back on the practice court Thursday. He’s not too concerned about his team regaining its edge.

“These girls are experience and they know the system,” said Rosemond. “When the lights come on, they’ll be ready for the stage.”

Florida Class 1A champ Hollywood Christian from Miami (No. 36 ESPN RISE) and New York City power Murry Bertgram will play in the other semifinal Apr. 1.

Seton Keough won the inaugural NHSI girls’ crown in 2009 with St. Frances Academy also participating. No local squads participated last year when Coppin State University played host.

After a more than respectable third-place showing in its first appearance at the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament at Frostburg State University last weekend, John Carroll garnered an invite to NHSI. The No. 1 Patriots (33-4) will be the lone team in the eight-team field not ranked by ESPN RISE.

The Bel Air school, the No. 8 seed, will play perennial national powerhouse Montgomery County’s Montrose Christian (No. 3 ESPN RISE and USA Today) Mar. 31. The Patriots won the MIAA A and Baltimore Catholic League crowns this past season.

maggie morrison, sherae swinson, shaquila curtis, brya freelandDefending tourney champ Findlay Prep from Nevada (No. 7 ESPN RISE), Oak Hill (VA) Academy (No. 5 ESPN RISE), Florida state champs Winter Park (Class 6A; No. 14 ESPN RISE) and Dwyer (Class 5A, No. 15 ESPN RISE), Boys & Girls from New York City (No. 22 ESPN RISE), and North Carolina’s United Faith Christian Academy (No.  31 ESPN RISE), makes the rest of the boys’ field.

St. Frances played in the inaugural NHSI in 2009. No local schools participated in last year’s tournament at Coppin.

ESPN RISE National High School Invitational

When: Thursday Mar. 31-Saturday Apr. 2

Where: Hanley Center, Georgetown Prep


Girls’ first round

Dr. Phillips (FL) vs. Riverdale Baptist, Noon

Boys’ quarterfinals

John Carroll vs. Montrose Christian, 2 p.m.

Dwyer (FL) vs. Findlay Prep (NV), 4 p.m.

Boys & Girls (N.Y.) vs. Winter Park (FL), 6 p.m.

United Faith Christian (N.C.) vs. Oak Hill (VA) Academy, 8 p.m.


Girls’ semifinals

Dr. Phillips/Riverdale Baptist winner vs. Archbishop Spalding, 11 a.m.

Murry Bergtraum (N.Y.) vs. Hollywood Christian (FL), 1 p.m.

Boys’ semifinals

John Carroll/Montrose Christian winner vs. Boys & Girls/Winter Park winner, 3:30 p.m.

Dwyer/Findlay Prep winner vs. United Faith Christian/Oak Hill winner, 5 p.m.


Girls’ championship, Noon

Boys’ championship, 2 p.m.