Just how much has the emergence of center Felicia Holloway meant to No. 2 St. Mary's?
Consider this: The 6-foot-2 senior was a non-factor when the Saints squeaked past Archbishop Spalding in early December, scoring just four points and leaving her team without a legitimate inside presence.
In yesterday's rematch, however, she continued her recent dominance with 15 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks, as host St. Mary's built a 35-point lead en route to a 65-40 victory over the No. 6 Cavaliers.
To coach Harry Dobson, Holloway -- averaging 20 points over her past three games -- has provided his team with a key missing ingredient.
"She was the difference this time," said Dobson. "Last time, she didn't touch the ball. Now, when Felicia gets the ball she dominates. Everybody has to pay attention to her, and the rest of our shooters are just standing there ready to pop it."
Such was the case in the first three quarters, when four-year starters Maria Smear (14 points), Terry Daniels (12) and Emily Lipton (nine) hit shot after shot, including many with open looks.
The three, along with Holloway, helped St. Mary's (16-2 overall, 8-0 in the Catholic League) make 15 of its first 27 shots.
Meanwhile, Spalding (14-8, 6-3) misfired on 25 of its first 28 shots before heating up over the final 12 minutes. And with Holloway grabbing most of the rebounds, the Cavaliers usually got only one chance to score each time downcourt.
"I don't know what happened in the first half," said Spalding coach Deb Taylor, whose team trailed 36-10 at the intermission, with three baskets and 13 turnovers.
"We felt good about this game and ready for it, but when you score 10 points in a half you're not going to win a lot of games.
"One of our goals was to keep them out of transition, and when you shoot 3-for-22 they're going to run the ball."
The blowout was most welcomed by St. Mary's, which was coming off consecutive overtime wins against Mercy and John Carroll. Holloway played large roles in those games, as well.
"I think I've gotten a lot better," said Holloway. "We didn't use the inside a lot at the beginning of the season. Now we've been going inside more, and it opens up a lot from the outside. Today, they really didn't have anything to match up against me."
Pub Date: 2/01/99