If turnovers are a coach's nightmare, then Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci probably didn't sleep well last night.
After staying with top-ranked Archbishop Spalding through 2 1/2 quarters, No. 5 Calvert Hall fell apart midway through the third period and the host Cavaliers turned it up to post a 70-54 victory yesterday.
The victory left the Cavaliers (15-2) undefeated in the Catholic League at 4-0 with Calvert Hall (10-5) falling to 0-2.
Following a 31-31 tie in the first half, Spalding took advantage of 12 Cardinals turnovers (most on bad passes) in the third quarter and outscored the visitors, 20-8.
It took a 12-point lead (51-39) into the final eight minutes and was up by as many as 18 early in the fourth quarter.
"We made some adjustments at halftime, went zone and got up and down the floor off our defensive rebounds better," said Spalding coach Tony Martin.
"Our kids really competed hard in what was a typical Catholic [League] war."
Senior forward Aleksandar Pavlovic scored 11 of his team-high 20 points in the crucial third period and the Cavaliers switched from their man-to-man defense to the zone.
Calvert Hall's Reggie Bryant (six rebounds, two assists, three steals) scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, but didn't score in the third period, taking just three shots, as the turnover flurry began.
"Our Achilles' heel is taking care of the ball in the half court," said Amatucci, whose team was down 10-0 to start the game.
"It was close midway through the third quarter, but we started turning it over and they were not all forced. We're not taking care of the ball, getting frustrated, and [then] somebody goes one-on-one, and you can't do that, especially against people who are stronger and quicker."
Spalding converted six turnovers into 13 of its 20 third-quarter points. The Cavaliers' 7-foot center Derrick Goode (eight points, six rebounds, five blocks) scored off the first Cardinals turnover.
A pair of free throws by 6-5 Del Randall (six points, seven rebounds) with 5: 22 remaining in the third left the Cardinals down 40-37. Calvert Hall proceeded to give the ball back on 10 straight possessions and hit only three of 11 shots from the field, 18-of-56 (32 percent) for the game.
Isaac Brooks ignited an 11-0 run by feeding the 6-8 Pavlovic under the basket on the first of the Cardinals' 10 straight turnovers.
Pub Date: 1/18/99