For much of Friday night's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference matchup, top-ranked Archbishop Spalding kept No. 6 Seton Keough off balance with its press and traps.
The Cavaliers also built their offense around junior guard Maggie Morrison, who dominated with her outside shooting and no-look passes under the basket. Host Spalding trailed only once and finished strong for a 59-42 victory, ending a seven-year losing streak to Seton Keough.
"They have a lot of size, and we don't. Our strength is team speed, so we wanted to go after them," Spalding coach Bookie Rosemond said. "They're a real good team, so we're really happy to get a victory. This was a huge win for our program."
Morrison, who is averaging 15.3 points, 5.0 assists and 3.4 steals per game, finished with 21 points. Brya Freeland added 16. Seton Keough was led by 6-foot forward Achiri Ade, who finished with 18 points.
A pair of free throws by Morrison gave Spalding (7-1 overall, 3-0 IAAM) a 23-12 lead with 4:18 left in the half. A 3-pointer by Freeland and a layup by Shaquila Curtis in the final 1:30 extended the Cavaliers' lead to 30-14 at the half.
The Gators (3-3, 2-2) regrouped and went on a 7-0 run to start the third quarter and held Spalding scoreless over a four-minute, 22-second span. Seton Keough allowed just two field goals and trailed 36-29 heading into the final period..
Spalding settled down and controlled most of the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers led 42-29 on a free throw from Morrison with 6:48 left in the game. A 3-pointer by Freeland with 59 seconds left increased the lead to 56-40 with 59 seconds remaining and sealed the game.
"One of the main things we practiced was keeping it up-tempo all game," Morrison said. "We definitely kept the intensity going."