Archbishop Spalding’s Cam Whitmore scored 24 points Wednesday against St. Frances and his team still lost their season opener.
This time, the four-star small forward would not be denied a victory, leading the Cavaliers (1-1) to a 56-48 boys basketball victory over Mount Saint Joseph (1-1) by scoring 30 points Saturday, including 25 in the second half.
“I knew we had to win,” Whitmore said. “I built my teammates up, I encouraged them and we just played as a whole. I just got them going. We always try to be physical, no matter who we play. I think that we had to be physical because they were in foul trouble. We kept going at their necks, going to the basket and finishing.”
The Cavaliers fought for a number of second-chance opportunities along with making key defensive stops.
Spalding coach Jason Pratt echoed the sentiments of his star player about being aggressive.
“When we watched the film, they understood that defense is effort and attitude,” Pratt said. “We talk about championship effort. We’ve got to play together as one. We’re an athletic team and we have some size, but all five guys have got to rebound. We preach togetherness, toughness. These guys have been together for a long time, even before I got to coach them. This is the most that they’ve talked during timeouts, at halftime and being positive was another great thing too. No one was frustrated and we sat our focus on winning this game.”
The Gaels opened with a 10-9 lead in the first quarter. Five players scored for Mount Saint Joseph, while Spalding relied on three scorers. The Cavaliers began to spread their attack in second quarter with Whitmore and Tyheil Peterson finishing the half with five points each and a 21-20 lead.
While Spalding gained a 36-32 mark at the end of the third period, Mount Saint Joseph senior D’Angelo Stines took a trip to the free-throw line. He sank both and made a tough layup to cut into Spalding’s advantage.
The Cavs also got steady play from freshman Bryson Tucker, who finished with 10 points.
Ausar Crawley cut the Spalding lead to five with a layup, but Whitmore continued to pile on. He started with a layup, then a 3-point shot, a free throw, a couple of 2-point jumpers and had a smooth flush to give Spalding the win.
Mount Saint Joseph coach Pat Clatchey had a number of departures before he season with starting guard Tyler Brelsford (George Washington) and forward Jason Edokpayi (Fairfield) leaving, along with Will Sykes (Johns Hopkins) and Cam Sapienza (Stevenson).
With the amount of turnover and a late start to the season, due to COVID-19, Clatchey’s rotations have featured a heavy dose of young talent.
“It’s just their second game,” Clatchey said. “It’s difficult. It’s hard — just a lot of lost time trying to develop your players and the team. You get six practices and then you’re thrown into playing games. I get it, I get the circumstances, but I think there’s going to be a fairly high level of inconsistency both individually and collectively. We found away to get it done against John Carroll, but today we just couldn’t get it done. I think Cam Whitmore had a lot to do with that.”
Spalding (1-1): Whitmore 30, Peterson 10, Scott 8, Pinnick 3, Rivers 3, Bouknight 2
St. Joe (1-1): Stines 16, Tucker 10, Carr 8, Crawley 5, Mess 4, Moutome 3, Valentine 2
Half: 21-20, Spalding