FROSTBURG, MARYLAND -- Junior combo guard J.R. Reynolds was named to the Ahambra Catholic Invitational Tournament even though Archbishop Spalding (MD) was able to hold him to 14 points as his Roanoke (VA) Catholic topped Spalding 75-70 in overtime for fifth place at this annual postseason event. Nothing, however, could stop Reynolds overall game.
Reynolds averaged 19.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.0 steals over the three-game event. He shot 57.1 percent from the floor, 33.0 percent from behind the arc and 70.4 percent from the charity stripe. It was no suprise that he was named to the all-tournament first team.
Reynolds, who prior to his junior season, verbally committed to Virginia for the 2003-04 season, was subject to a box and one for much of the game as Spalding looked to limit his access to the ball. Head Coach Dick Wall said following the game, "We have a lot of firepower, don't we? We really don't worry about that."
The Celtics put three other players in double digits in addition to Reynolds. Junior shooting guard Matt Nowlin who led all scorers with 25 points, senior point guard Phil Wall with 17 points and Todd Mankevicous, who is headed to VMI next year, with 15 points and six rebounds.
As it worked out Spalding may have "won the battle and lost the war." Reynolds was limited in what he could do on offense by Spalding's defensive sets, but Mike Glick's guys couldn't completely stop this complete player. He had a game-high 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Ten of his fourteen points came from the free throw line, including the Celtics last five points in the game.
With Spalding up 10-7, Head Coach Mike Glick changed the defense to the box and one with 4:29 on the first quarter clock. A 14-8 run gave Spalding a 24-12 lead early in the second quarter. The Nowlin and Wall hit three-pointers and Reynolds hit Mankevicius for a traditional three-point play to narrow the lead to 24-21. The squads basically exchanged scores until Wall canned a one-amd one to tie the game at 30-30. Mankevicius grabbed a loose rebound for a bucket with six seconds on the clock to give the Celtics a 32-30 halftime lead.
Spalding, which continued to switch defenses (2-3 zone, box and one, half-court trap, etc.) retied the score at 41-41 on junior center Will Bowers bucket with 42 seconds left in the third. Reserve guard Tim Brackney hit a three-pointer as the buzzer rang to give Spalding a 44-41 lead heading into the final quarter of regulation.
The squads again exhanged scores until Roanoke Catholic took a 57-52 lead when Reynolds hit three free throws as he was fouled by Bowers on a three-point attempt. Landy Thompson found Brackney open for a three. Bowers stole the ball in the front court and hit Thompson who returned the ball to Bowers for a fast break layup to tie the score at 57-57. Reynolds hit Mankevicz for a layup and Brackney found Bowers for a layup to tie the score at 59-59 with 45 seconds remaining. Bowers, who had three blocks on the day, put back Reynolds jump shot from the foul line with time expiring to extend the game for another four minutes.
The Celtics scored the first seven points in the extra period. They relied on free throw shooting since except for a three-pointer by Nowlin to open OT, all their scoring came from the charity stripe. They hit 13 of 14 attempts (Nowlin: 4-4, Wall: 4-4, Reynolds: 5-6). That was just a little better than their performance throughout the game as the Celtics his 89.3 percent (25-28) from the line.
Spalding was led by Bowers' 16 points, four rebounds, three blocks, two steals and zero turnovers. Landy Thompson added 14 points along with senior swingman Cory Hudson's 13 and Brackney's 11 points.
That caps a year where Roanoke Catholic finished 25-7 after winning the Virginia Catholic and the Viriginia Division II Indpendent Schools State Championships.