St. Vincent Pallotti coach Josh Pratt said his Panthers hadn't been in such a pressure-filled game until they hosted Archbishop Spalding on Friday night in Severn.
"There's not many times we have been in this situation as far as a team in a big game or game of the week," Pratt said.
Unfortunately for Pratt, Pallotti's response was not what he would have liked as No. 4 Spalding cruised to a 73-38 victory over the No. 7 Panthers in a key Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference battle.
"I think we are still climbing," said Spalding assistant coach Linda Dorsey, who is filling in for William "Bookie" Rosemond after he was suspended by the IAAM for the first seven league games. "We started jelling down in Hampton, Va., during the [Boo Williams Christmas] tournament. The girls are starting to feel confident and know each other."
Junior forward Camille Calhoun led the winners with 13 points and 17 rebounds while teammate Aleah Epps totaled 10 points, seven steals and four assists. Torri Chestnut contributed 14 points and five rebounds. Kaiya Coleman led Pallotti with 14 points and 13 rebounds and Beverly Ogurinde added seven points, nine rebounds and six blocks.
Pallotti (10-3 overall, 4-1 conference) jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first 3:38 before the Cavaliers (9-5, 4-1) took over by closing the quarter on a 10-2 run to go ahead, 11-8.
The margin grew to 17 points, 35-17, at intermission, as Spalding looked invincible with its inside and outside play.
"We just have to strike this up as a bad game," said Pratt, whose team committed 21 turnovers and shot 15 percent (7-for-44) from the field. "They did a great job with their pressure and we have to make free throws."
Spalding pushed its lead to 50-19 in the first four minutes of the third quarter, thanks to a 15-2 run.
"I don't know who [Pallotti] have played," Dorsey said. "We have played some of top-ranked teams in the country. Two of our losses were to top-20 teams. Those games we lost by a total of five points. I'm pleased with the way we have been playing."