Jade Sciafe and her Archbishop Spalding teammates had been waiting a long time for this moment. Two-hundred and ninety-eight days to be exact.
That’s how long the Cavaliers were feeling the pain from a two-point loss to McDonogh in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final last February.
But their 51-32 victory in Severn on Wednesday night helped heal the wounds from that game.
“We had been looking forward to this game all season,” Sciafe said. “We had to prove something.”
The senior forward and UNC-Greensboro recruit led all scorers with 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Teammate Camille Calhoun totaled 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“Jade and Camille are double-double machines,” Spalding coach Bookie Rosemond said. “Both are probably averaging 12-to-14 points (per game) and 12-14 rebounds. They are not big: 5-(feet-)10, 5-11. But they are just relentless.”
Sciafe’s strong play early staked Spalding (5-0 overall, 3-0 league) to a 9-3 lead in the first six minutes as she scored six points during that span.
As the visiting Eagles continued to turn the ball over and misfire, Spalding’s lead grew.
The Cavaliers hit from medium range and worked the ball inside effectively, pulling away to a 19-8 advantage with 3:05 remaining in the second quarter on Myka Johnson-Matthews’ free throw.
“They beat the heck out of us,” McDonogh coach Brad Rees said. “They were much more physical than us. They wanted it more than we did. We just didn’t show up. We have some great individual talent, but we just haven’t gotten it together yet. We are still struggling finding roles.”
McDonogh (3-2, 1-1) trimmed the advantage to 26-19 midway through the third quarter by using a 5-0 run highlighted by Maya Wynn’s three-pointer.
“They made a run and we didn’t panic,” Rosemond said. “We got ourselves back together and made good decisions.”
Spalding, however, began its final ascent by closing the quarter on a 9-1 run.
Lilli Robb had eight points for McDonogh and Dajah Logan added seven.
“We are really struggling offensively,” said Rees, whose team shot 31 percent (12-for-38) from the field.
No. 3 Spalding 51 No. 2 McDonogh 32
S — Johnson-Matthews 7, Calhoun 14, Scaife 16, Clark 6, Chestnut 4, Epps 4.
M — Robb 8, Logan 7, Wynn 6, Johnson 5, Jacobs 4, Edwards 2.