The No. 1-ranked Archbishop Spalding girls basketball team jumped out to another big lead in a game only to see the opposition chip away at it before righting the ship for a victory.

A couple weeks ago, in a battle with No. 2 Seton Keough, the Cavaliers took a 34-18 lead into the half but the Gators fought back to force two overtimes before losing .

On Wednesday night, Spalding again had a sizable advantage at the half, 32-18, and held on to defeat a fiery McDonogh squad, 63-45.

Cavaliers’ coach Bookie Rosemond said his team tends to become content with a lead:

“McDonogh was running some nice, inside cuts and they were getting to the rim on us. We were losing sight of the ball,” Rosemond explained.  “I think we became complacent with that lead and that is something that we’ve been working hard on.

In the third quarter, we’ve been come out flat. We did it tonight, we did it against Keough and we’re trying like crazy to prevent that from happening.”

After Freeland hit three consecutive free throws, Spalding led 40-22 with 4:22 left in the third quarter.  But as they have in past games, the Cavaliers let their guard down.

Eagles’ freshman Briana Jacobs and senior Taryn Durant made two free throws each and junior guard Tiersa Winder scored six points in a 10-0 run to cut Spalding’s lead to 40-32 with less than a minute to play in the third.

No. 6 McDonogh (9-4 overall, 1-2 IAAM A) forced five turnovers during the spurt and had a chance to pull even closer before missing a layup.

“We had that layup that would have cut it to six points. Then they went down, scored and then hit a three, so it goes from a six point game to a 13-point game.  That’s when the gas ran out,” said McDonogh coach Brad Rees.

Holding a 42-32 margin entering the fourth quarter, Spalding caught fire and went on a 10-0 run of its own.  The Cavaliers knocked down four, three point shots – two by Makins and one each for Sherae Swinson and Morrison –  to pull away late.

“[Coach Rosemond] told us to stay out on defense,” said Cavaliers junior guard Raven Makins.  “He told us that we better not let them score anymore or we were going to be running [with] bricks in practice. That hit the spot.”

Makins, who scored eight points in the fourth quarter, paced the Cavaliers (13-2, 4-0) with 18 points.  Freeland added 15 points and senior guard Maggie Morrison added 10.

Durant and Jacobs paced the Eagles with 10 points each and Winder added nine points.

“[Spalding] is a very tough team. They have so many weapons,” Rees said.  “We thought we did a good job on their inside people but the guards were knocking down threes.”

McDonogh trailed 14-4 midway through the first quarter before mounting an 8-0 run to cut its deficit to just two points.  But the Eagles missed another missed layup that would have tied to score.

Spalding has won five straight games and has yet to lose to a Baltimore area team this season.  The Cavaliers traveled to Arizona and went 4-0 to win their division of the Nike Tournament of Champions last week.

McDonogh dropped its second game in a row after running off nine straight wins.

Both teams will be in action Friday against A Conference opponents as the league schedule heats up.



No. 1 Archbishop Spalding 63, No. 6 McDonogh 45
Freeland 15, Makins 18, Swinson 9, Curtis 6, Morrison 10, Calhoun 5. Totals 22 10-16 63.
Durant 10, Rees 2, Cummings 8, Ewing 2, Jacobs 10, Winder 9, Hendricks 4.Totals 16 12-13 45.