Twice this season, Archbishop Spalding had defeated No. 7 St. Mary's, including a one-point victory two weeks ago. Yesterday, however, the Saints came back big in the semifinals of the Catholic Girls' League Tournament at the College of Notre Dame.
Tied at 12, St. Mary's outscored Spalding, 22-4, in the second quarter and cruised to a 70-31 triumph.
The Saints (19-8) will meet No. 6 Seton Keough, a 59-56 winner over Mercy in the other semifinal, today at 4 p.m.
"We came in determined," said St. Mary's coach Carmine Blades. "We had lost to Spalding twice -- in games we thought we could've won -- and wanted desperately to beat them."
From early in the second quarter, there was little doubt about the outcome.
With St. Mary's leading, 16-14, the Saints' Randall Goldsborough and Bridget Smith (game-high 21 points) took charge. After Smith hit a three-pointer to put her team up by five, Goldsborough connected on three straight three-pointers in a 1-minute, 14-second span, giving St. Mary's a 28-14 lead.
"I shot it and they kept on leaving me open," said Goldsborough, who notched her 1,000th career point on the third three-pointer. "I was surprised how open I was, but I just kept taking advantage."
Goldsborough scored all of her 14 points in the second quarter, as the Cavaliers (16-11), in adjusting their defense to clog the middle, left the guards open.
"Defensively, we just didn't play well," said Spalding coach Paul Leimkuhler. "They have a way of lulling a defense to sleep, then cutting through the lane for the shot. The fact that we're so beat up didn't help, either. There's no player on this team without the flu or a sprain."
The Saints shot 57 percent from the field while Spalding struggled. Without injured point guard Amy Langville, the Cavaliers never got on track, shooting 7-for-21 in the first half.
Blades said this was not a typical St. Mary's-Spalding game. "Every game we play with Spalding is nip and tuck all the way," he said. "Usually, we play them close, but when you're hot, you're hot."
In the first semifinal, Chris Politz scored a game-high 21 to lead Seton Keough (18-4) past Mercy (14-8).
The Gators led by two at the half, but pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Mercy, 17-6. Seton Keough's Michelle Pasta scored nine of her 12 points during the spurt.
Mercy's fourth-quarter comeback, led by sisters Stephanie (17 points) and Christa (14) Rohe, fell short, as the Sharpshooters could get no closer than the final margin.