Rudy Gay didn't play the last 19 1/2 minutes, but he still helped lead the No. 4 Archbishop Spalding boys basketball team to a 49-39 victory at No. 12 McDonogh yesterday to end the Eagles' five-game winning streak.
Gay sprained his right ankle and couldn't play, but his halftime plea motivated his teammates.
McDonogh recently upset No. 1 Mount St. Joseph and No. 3 Cardinal Gibbons during its surge, but failed to take advantage of Gay's absence in the second half of yesterday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.
Spalding (19-4), led by Justin Castleberry's 11 points, is 9-2 in the A Conference and McDonogh (13-10) is 7-5.
"It really proves that Rudy is not our whole team, even though he's a great, outstanding player," said senior Kevin Galinat, who came off the bench to score five points in the third quarter.
"It's not just the Rudy Gay show. We've got a whole lot of talent on this team. And we're a team to be reckoned with."
After scoring seven points in a 14-8 Spalding first quarter, Gay went down with what appeared to be a sprained right ankle. The front of his foot came down on the foot of McDonogh sophomore DaJuan Summers.
Spalding had an 18-11 lead with 3:37 left in the half when the 6-foot-9 Gay, who said he thought "it was broken at first," was helped off the floor.
The Cavaliers came up big with their standout watching from the bench with an ice bag around his ankle. Gay normally inspires with his flashy, high-flying game, but yesterday he was a motivational speaker.
"Rudy did a good job speaking up in the locker room and being a leader, telling the guys the game's not over and that they've got to keep playing hard and get the 'W,'" Spalding coach Mike Glick said.
Gay said afterward that he will likely rest the ankle for a couple of days. Seniors like 6-2 Kevin Galinat and 6-4 Matt Cornell, guys who normally don't get a lot of playing time in big games, delivered.
Galinat hit a three-pointer and a two-pointer midway through the third quarter to give the Cavs a 30-26 lead after Jon Brick's three-pointer pulled McDonogh within two points. Brick led the Eagles, who were stymied by Spalding's zone, with 10 points.
"We didn't expect to have that much trouble with it [zone], but we weren't very aggressive with the ball," McDonogh coach Matt MacMullan said.
"That was the big difference, and their kids really stepped it up without Rudy. It says a lot about their depth."
Cornell grabbed four of his five rebounds in the second half and made two free throws in fourth quarter.
"Rudy is our biggest rebounder, and I had to come in there and put in a big body and get boards," Cornell said. "This was probably our biggest team win of the season."