FROSTBURG, MARYLAND -- Archbishop Spalding High School rebounded from a 60-38 spanking by Gonzaga College High School (DC) in the Alhambra Invitational Tournament's opening round to hold off Judge Memorial High School (Utah) 52-49 in a consolation semifinal Friday afternoon.
Spalding, the Baltimore Catholic champion and the Baltimore Sun's number 4 team, came back from a first half deficit to secure the win and a matchup with Roanoke (VA) Catholic for fifth place on Saturday.
Led by the timely scoring of senior guard Landy Thompson who had nine of his his game-high 20 points in the third quarter, Spalding grabbed its first lead at 42-40 as the buzzer sounded on the closing stanza on Thompson's running jumper in the paint.
Thompson fed junior center Will Bowers for a dunk early in the fourth to up the lead to 44-40.
Bowers, considered on of the better players in the 2003 class, is being recruited by Maryland, Texas, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Providence and Villanova. Bowers doesn't have a leader in his recruiting process but has indicated he would like to sign this Fall with a program.
Senior guard Nick Morales from Judge Memorial (Salt Lake City) hit a three from the left wing at the 4:45 mark to bring the deficit down to one at 44-43. Spalding's senior Cory Hudson it a five-foot jumper to increase the spread back to 46-43. And then Thompson and Bowers again combined for a towering dunk to raise the score to 48-43.
Judge Memorial's top player, 6-6 junior Joe Sasich made up for a teammate's two missed free throws by grabbing the loose rebound to get the margin back to 48-45. The teams exchanged baskets with the score 50-47 and 1:35 on the clock. Judge, forced to foul, finally reached seven team fouls at the 1:23 mark. Sophomore point guard Jesse Brooks hit two free throws to put the edge back to five, 52-47. Sacich again put back a missed shot for the final score in the match.
Bowers had a team high eight rebounds and two blocks. Brooks added a game-high six assists.
Sasich led Judge Memorial with 18 points on 9-13 shooting from the floor. He also had a game high 10 rebounds. Senior guard Thomas Walisky tied Brooks for game-high with six assists. Morales added 12 in the loss for the Utah school which will face host Bishop Walsh from Cumberland, MD, in Saturday's opening 7th place game.