FROSTBURG -- DeMatha's size advantage and free-throw shooting proved to be too much as Archbishop Spalding failed in its bid to become just the fourth Baltimore team to win the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament.
Last night at Frostburg State University, DeMatha (28-5) won the 40th Alhambra by 67-55 over third-ranked Spalding (25-11) despite 28 points -- 14 in the final period -- by Derrick Snowden, who repeated as an All-Tournament first-teamer.
The Stags' 6-foot-10 junior Jordan Collins and 6-8 sophomore Travis Garrison (14 points) combined for 25 rebounds and DeMatha was 24-for-26 from the line, 22-23 in the last period.
Junior guard Maurice Carter led DeMatha with 20 points followed by 15 from Billy Edelin.
It was the Stags' 17th tournament championship in 25 finals and 31 appearances at the Alhambra under legendary coach Morgan Wootten, who at 1,213-183 is America's all-time winningest high school coach.
"Their size was a major factor, no question and at the line, they didn't miss," said Spalding coach Mike Glick whose four-year players Snowden, Tremaine Robinson (10 points), Isaac Brooks (seven points) and Darren Johnson (six points) had to settle for being the sixth Baltimore runner-up.
Spalding got within 61-55 with 1: 35 left on back-to-back baskets by Johnson and Chris Ravello, but the Stags' extraordinary accuracy at the line kept mounting. Carter hit the last six free throws to prevent a Spalding miracle.
The last Baltimore team to win the Alhambra was Mark Karcher-led St. Frances under coach William Wells in 1996. It was the junior year for Karcher, now at Temple.
Spalding has been to the Alhambra only the last two seasons, winning the 1999 consolation final. In their three years in the Baltimore Catholic League, the Cavaliers have won two tournament titles and the regular-season title this year.
"Our kids are emotionally spent, but this doesn't detract from their accomplishments, " said Glick.
Cory Hudson's jumper at the buzzer following a Spalding timeout tied the game for a seventh time in the first half at 20. Snowden tossed in 10 of his points in the first 16 minutes and assisted Robinson on crowd-pleasing alley-oop jam in the first period.
DeMatha came out with a methodical half-court game, using three to four passes before shooting. Despite outrebounding the Cavaliers, 16-11, the Stags missed several second and even third shots.
Spalding tried to get the Stags into a full-court game and succeeded only in brief spurts. They also missed off several good looks early in the second period and 6-8 sophomore Travis Garrison scored the last three DeMatha baskets to close out the half.
DeMatha dominated the third period with three big runs to take control at 41-30 going into the last eight minutes.
Edelin scored seven points in the big DeMatha third period while the Stags' trees inside, Garrison and 6-10 Jordan Collins controlled the boards.
Poor foul shooting (4-for-14) resulted in Towson Catholic dropping a 51-50 decision to Judge Memorial (19-8) of Salt Kake City in the consolation final.
SPALDING -- Snowden 28, Brooks 7, Robinson 10, Johnson 6, Hudson 2, Ravello 2. Totals 19 12-13 55.
DeMATHA -- Carter 20, Edelin 15, Collins 5, Wentt 4, Garrison 14, Jackson 9. Totals 21 25-26 67.
JUDGE MEMORIAL (UTAH) -- Owens 3, Acosta 6, Giovacchini 18, Evans 4, Stone 3, Reed 13, Kolbus 4. Totals 20 6-8 51.
TOWSON CATHOLIC -- Jenifer 17, Early 2, Hopkins 12, Osborne 10, Anthony 9. Totals 21 4-14 50.
Half--Judge Memorial, 41-35.
Pub Date: 3/19/00