Whitmore powers Spalding past Mount St. Joseph (VIDEO HERE!)
by Derek Toney
Archbishop Spalding High boys basketball coach Josh Pratt said he challenged his team after Wednesday’s opening loss to St. Frances Academy.
The message definitely resonated with Cam Whitmore. The junior forward scored a game-high 30 points as the Cavaliers defeated Mount St. Joseph, 56-48, in a MIAA A Conference/Baltimore Catholic League contest in Irvington.
The 6-foot-6 Whitmore scored 16 points in the final frame as the Severn school pulled away in the final two minutes of regulation to win its first game in a truncated season. The Cavaliers (1-1 overall and BCL) have not been on the court since Wednesday’s opener because of a mix of winter weather Thursday and Friday.
“We played tough today,” said Pratt. “To be able to have a two-hour video [Zoom meet] and really come together, talk about things and be honest with each other, it’s been great. For them to come out and respond, I was very happy.”
“It’s good to get this win even though we didn’t practice,” said Whitmore. “We started off slow in the beginning, but we bounced back in the second half and finished.”
Whitmore, who scored 26 points against St. Frances Wednesday, went for 25 in the second half Saturday afternoon. He scored eight straight for his club, including a 3-pointer and a dunk, putting the Cavaliers up 48-41 after Mount St. Joseph had pulled to 40-39.
The Gaels closed to 48-46 after a steal and basket from Bryson Tucker with two minutes remaining in regulation. After a CJ Scott free throw made it 49-46, the Cavaliers got a defensive stop and Whitmore, who missed on an one-hand alley-oop dunk attempt, got Scott’s follow-up miss and put the ball off the glass with 1:10 to play.
Whitmore calmly dropped a 15-foot jumper, making it 53-46 with 55 seconds remaining. He accounted for 25 of Spading’s 31 points over the final 13 minutes of regulation.
“I’m proud of him because he’s responding to my challenges,” said Pratt, in his second season at Spalding. “He tries to do what I ask him to do which is a tribute to him. He’s one of the better players in our league, if not the best player and he’s only 16 years old.”
Senior D’Angelo Stines led Mount St. Joseph (1-1, 1-1 BCL) with 16 points and Tucker, a 6-3 freshman, added 10. The Gaels, who rallied past John Carroll School in their season debut Wednesday, trailed 21-20 at halftime before gaining a 28-27 advantage midway in the third.
Stines, who will play for Old Dominion University next season, hit a 3-pointer, bringing the Gaels to 40-39 with 5:43 left in regulation. After Mount St. Joseph missed the front end of an one-and-one, Whitmore hit a jumper, converted a free throw and finished a pass with a two-handed dunk.
“He’s a matchup problem,” said Gaels coach Pat Clatchey. “He can score in a variety of ways.”
Archbishop Spalding 56, Mount St. Joseph 48
Archbishop Spalding – Cam Whitmore 30, Ty Peterson 10, CJ Scott 8, Jordan Pennick 3, Josh Rivers 3, Jalen Bouknight 2. Totals 21 9-18 56.
Mount St. Joseph – D’Angelo Stines 16, Bryson Tucker 10, Sean Carr 8, Ausar Crawley 5, Aidan Mess 4, Julian Moutome 3, Ace Valentine 2. Totals 19 6-7 48.
Archbishop Spalding 9 12 15 20 – 56
Mount St. Joseph 10 10 12 16 – 48