Archbishop Spalding overwhelms Severn, 48-20

As Archbishop Spalding galloped back and forth across its home hardwood with a sizable lead, coach Bookie Rosemond was in a familiar spot.

He’d already led the Cavaliers to over 150 victories in his career. Only this time, the win wasn’t his — the Severn coach had to bow to his former player, Spalding coach Maggie Morrison, as her Cavaliers continued to build on their margin to victory.

Spalding kept its young season perfect as it blew past visiting Severn, 48-20, on Tuesday. Defense won the night, as the Cavaliers thwarted the Admirals (0-3) in the paint at every turn.

“It’s very important,” senior center Brelynn Young said of keeping the pressure. “They can always come back to get more layups on us.”

Though Young led the Cavaliers with 10 points, scoring was spread fairly evenly among the rest of the calvary – senior guard Morgan Pennick had eight, for instance, followed by sophomore guard-forward Koi Sims with seven.

“It makes us really hard to guard,” Morrison said. “If you try to shut one person down, anyone can step up on any given night. That’s kind of been the background of this game and the last game, too — very balanced scoring.”

The pitfalls of youth hindered Severn — which started two freshmen on Tuesday — from the start. Though the Admirals were capable of moving the ball down to a position to score, the ball met the strings and the air more than it did the hoop.

“This is an A conference team,” Rosemond said, “so I think we were coming in here lacking a little bit in confidence.”

The second quarter was no easier. Though Severn had picked up some speed in its step, it could do little to slow down Spalding’s momentum. As Pennick hustled to the arc, she shook off her defenders, potting the team’s first trey of the game.

And when the Cavaliers could strip the visitors, they could. As the two squads battled for control in the paint, Sims picked the ball from the scrum and shot down-court for her own fast-break layup. As she did, the Spalding bench lurched to their feet and screamed. It wouldn’t be the first time the team would have something to celebrate, and it wouldn’t be the last.

“They like to play for each other,” Morrison said. “They work hard day in and day out – it’s all I can ask for – so when you see our bench jumping and getting excited for other people, it shows a lot of team chemistry and a lot of good character.”

Senior guard Breanna Smith was fighting her own private battle for the first two frames. The guard tried for more threes than any of her teammates in the first half, but would see them plunk off the rim or skim the air.

Then, in the third, Smith posted up to the left of the hoop and lifted it in – cue Spalding cheers. Meanwhile, Severn was struggling. The Admirals would produce only two points all quarter via senior Camryn Levin.

That’s what stood out to Rosemond after the final buzzer called, even as Severn would spark up, go on to hold Spalding to scoreless play for half of the fourth quarter.

“You can’t play a decent first quarter, disappear for two quarters, and then come back for the fourth quarter and think you’re going to be in the game,” Rosemond said. “That’s been our problem, first three games, only playing two quarters of the game.”

After the two sides shook hands, Rosemond crossed from his side to his former team, handing out a sportsmanship award to his daughter, Pearl, before taking the newly-18-year-old home.

It had been the first time in a lifetime that Rosemond and Pearl, a starting guard for Spalding, had played on opposite ends of a high school court.

“I was happy. She played well. She’s a player that I wish I had,” Rosemond said. “She’s smart, knows the game and always gives a good effort. I think I’ve got a bunch [of Pearls] in my locker room. I just got to bring out the same energy and effectiveness. I think everyone’s got it.”

After Rosemond left Spalding, he’d opened the door for Morrison, who ran the point for Rosemond all the way to an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title in 2011. For Morrison, there was an added bonus to strategizing against a coach that had once strategized around her.

“I definitely think it came into play,” Morrison said. “Coach Bookie, he was a great coach. He took care of me my whole time I was here. … We’ll probably play each other as long as we’re coaching, and I love to see him come back. It’s a good welcome home.”

Though Rosemond’s homecoming wasn’t as fruitful as he’d preferred, he likewise was glad to test his mettle against his former player, whom he remembers as the pinnacle of work ethic. It’s a trait that didn’t seem to leave Morrison, who practiced shooting her own three-pointers before her own players came out to practice pre-game.

“I know that’s what she expects from her kids, and I didn’t teach Maggie that,” Rosemond said. “Maggie might’ve taught me that.”

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