No. 2 Spalding out-muscles West Catholic (PA) in hoops mixer; Imhotep wears down top-ranked St. Frances; Calvert Hall wins
by Derek Toney
After solid efforts from Archbishop Spalding High and Calvert Hall College, the St. Frances Academy basketball team was poised to finish a local sweep in the DTLR Classic Monday evening at Spalding.
Imhotep Academy (PA) had other ideas. The Philadelphia school topped the No. 1 Panthers, 75-68.
Junior wing forward Justin Edwards scored a game-high 29 points for Imhotep (11-2 overall), and Rahmir Barano and Ma’Kye Taylor each contributed 13. Bryce Lindsay finished with 26 points for St. Frances and sophomore guard Daquan Davis had 18.
The Panthers (19-3), ranked nationally by MaxPreps (14th) and ESPN (No. 20), had few answers for a dogged Imhotep second half effort. Imhotep, ranked 23rd nationally by MaxPreps, handed VSN’s fourth-ranked Mount St. Joseph its first loss last month.
St. Frances coach Nick Myles said Imhotep, Philadelphia’s top program for more than a decade, “wanted it more” Monday.
“They got every offensive rebound and we lost every 50-50 ball,” said Myles, whose team’s six-game winning streak was snapped. “Sometimes a loss is a lesson, hopefully this is a lesson.”
Imhotep never trailed in the second half, opening up a 52-44 lead late in the third quarter after a follow-up by Taylor, capping an 8-2 spurt. The Panthers climbed to 56-54 on a Davis’ 3-pointer with 5:42 left in regulation.
Imhotep answered with an 8-1 run, starting with an offensive board and basket from reserve Chad Anglin. An alley-oop flush by Edwards and a Taylor dunk, off a steal by Barano, made it 64-55.
The Panthers cut the deficit to four twice in the final minute, but Imhotep got the appropriate response, including a windmill dunk by Edwards.
Edwards, a 6-foot-7 Top 10 recruit in the Class of 2023, with offers from Kentucky, Maryland and Ohio State, gave St. Frances fits all over the floor.
The Panthers didn’t help their cause Monday, missing seven free throws in the final quarter.
The East Chase Street school will have to regroup with No. 2 Spalding coming to Phelps Gym Friday evening for a first-place battle in the Baltimore Catholic League.
“We got to be tough, it’s all about effort,” said Myles. “I’m very critical of myself and my staff. You can coach a lot of things, but normally you don’t have coach effort on Chase Street. If we got to reset the culture and coach effort, that’s what we’ll do starting tomorrow.”
The first season of the Gary Neal Era at Calvert Hall has had its expected ups and downs. The Cardinals are on an upswing after a 58-52 victory over Georgetown Prep in the opening match.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Williams scored a game-high 23 points for the Cardinals (5-8), and Karim Harris added 13. Khani Rooths led Georgetown Prep (6-4) with 14.
Calvert Hall trailed 14-11 after the opening quarter, but, thanks to seven points in the second frame from Williams, The Hall had the lead, 25-23, at halftime.
The Towson school stretched the lead to 38-32 after three quarters, then converted 12 of 14 free throws in the fourth to pull out its second straight victory after dropping its previous four decisions.
With its biggest tests of the season on the horizon, No. 2 Spalding gained major confidence, handing previously undefeated West Catholic Prep from Philadelphia its first loss, 81-67.
Villanova University-bound forward Cam Whitmore finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists for the Cavaliers (12-2), and senior guard Jordan Pennick contributed 21 points, five rebounds and four assists.
In a physical tussle, the Severn school didn’t back down, improving to 12-2 on the season. Senior guard/forward CJ Scott added 15 points.
“Today was a really good win for us…West Catholic is a typical Philly team, up in your face, pressure, playing defense, playing the passing lanes,” said Spalding coach Josh Pratt. “They were physical and it was nice to see us respond, especially in the second half.”
“We came out in the second half and played tough,” said Whitmore. “We stayed sharp and kept our focus.”
Trailing 31-28 at half, Spalding ceased command in third, behind Pennick, who scored 10 in the frame, and Scott added seven. Whitmore, 6-foot-6, flexed with 12 points in the fourth as the Cavaliers pulled away. Kaseem Watson finished with 22 points for West Catholic (8-1).
“The first half we played sloppy, but Coach Pratt dug into us and we bought in,” said Pennick, who scored 16 in the second half.
Pratt said winning the defensive boards over the final 16 minutes was a major factor.
“When they started pressuring us I think it fit into what we normally do. We like to go uptempo,” said Pratt. “We shared the ball really well, I thought we were really positive during timeout…if we continue to get better, the goal is to win a championship.”
Wednesday evening, Spalding travels to No. 3 Our Lady of Mount Carmel in a match-up of Baltimore Catholic League title contenders as well as a battle for sole possession of first in the MIAA A Conference’s Red Division. Friday, the Cavaliers play at top-ranked St. Frances.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Pennick, whose team lost to both squads in an abbreviated campaign in 2021. “We have to be physically and mentally ready.”
“These next couple of weeks are really going to tell what we’re about…how we can rise above adversity,” said Pratt.
Pictured above: Spalding’s Jordan Pennick goes up for a jumper during the third quarter of his team’s win over West Catholic (PA), Monday in the DTLR Classic. He scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half to help the Cavaliers prevail.
at Archbishop Spalding
Calvert Hall College 58, Georgetown Prep 52
Georgetown Prep – Rooths 14, Stewart 10, McDonough 9, Siacca-Bey 6, Thomas 6, Kodi 4, Waheed 2, Bruner 1. Totals 19 10-15 52.
Calvert Hall College – Williams 23, Harris 13, Erving 11, Biggers 6, Bahar 5. Totals 16 16-27 58.
Georgetown Prep 14 9 9 20 – 52
Calvert Hall 11 14 13 20 – 58
No. 2 Archbishop Spalding 81, West Catholic Prep (PA) 67
West Catholic – Kaseem Watson 22, Zion Stanford 16, Wilbanks-Acqui 11, Kareem Watson 9, Griffin 7, Clark 2. Totals 27 6-12 67.
Archbishop Spalding – Whitmore 23, Pennick 21, Scott 15, Rivers 9. Peterson 7, Washington 4, Brown 2. Totals 31 8-13 81.
West Catholic 18 13 13 23 – 67
Spalding 18 10 21 32 – 81
Imhotep Charter (PA) 75, No. 1 St. Frances Academy 68
Imhotep – Edwards 29, Barano 13, Taylor 13, Nowell 8, Abdullah 8, Anglin 2, Raphael 2. Totals 29 10-17 75.
St. Frances Academy – Lindsay 26, Davis 18, Carrington 10, Robinson 5, Scott 4, Johnson 3, Lamothe 2. Totals 24 12-20 68.
Imhotep 15 17 20 23 – 75
St. Frances 15 16 16 21 – 68