Facing his old school was incentive enough for Archbishop Spalding senior Barry McCormick to play well in Thursday night's boys basketball contest with rival St. Mary's, but with about 31/2 minutes left in the first quarter he received a whole lot motivation to have perhaps his best performance of the young season.
That is when team leader Buzz Anthony picked up his second foul of the game, forcing Cavaliers coach Nick Jones to remove him from the contest. In response, McCormick erupted for 17 of his team-high 22 points to stake Spalding to a commanding 18-point halftime advantage en route to a 79-58 victory. The Cavaliers improved to 3-1 heading into their MIAA A Conference opener with St. Frances Monday.
"Barry just stepped up," said St. Mary's coach Jon Story, whose squad fell to 1-2 on the young season. "He had a monster game. He played really well. He hurt us."
McCormick's electric offensive performance included 11 points in the second quarter alone with both Anthony and his backcourt mate Rene Alphonso also sidelined with a pair of personal fouls.
"I used to go to St. Mary's in eighth grade so this was a big one for me," said McCormick, who did much of his damage on dribble drives to the basket and short, spin-move jumpers in the lane. "They were leaving a lot of openings on defense. I felt like I had to take over."
McCormick, who was aided by Hank Schemmell's 10 first-half points, a late second-quarter steal and bucket by Derrick Hinton and some tenacious defense from reserve guard Jack Lonergan, opened the second quarter with a 3-point play and posted back-to-back baskets on a spinning jumper in the lane and a stick back for a 34-18 lead with 3:32 left remaining the first half.
"Having our two lead guards out, he took over," Jones said. "I'd like to be 4-0, but I'll take 3-1, especially after the start we had last year. We have to dig in and get ready to go."
Anthony's return in the third quarter helped the Cavaliers put the game away with a 23-12 quarter long run for an insurmountable 66-37 advantage. Anthony finished with 15 points and Alphonso chipped in 11 points.
Joshua Wallace, who did most of his damage on short jumpers and 13 free throws, paced St. Mary's with 24 points and Aaron McGriff added 17 points in the setback.
St. Mary's (58)
McGriff 8(1) 0-0 17, Devitt 3 2-2 8, Wallace 5(1) 13-14 24, Burnett 1 1-4 3, Gardner 0 0-2 0, Ferraro 1 0-0 2, Novak 0 2-2 2, Christian 0 0-2 0, Granzow 0 2-2 2. Totals: 18(2) 20-28 58.
Schemmell 2 6-6 10, Anthony 6(1) 2-2 15, McCormick 9 4-6 22, Alphonso 5 1-2 11, Bozeman 1 0-0 2, Hinton 3(1) 2-2 9, Lonergan 0 2-2 2, Heller 1(1) 0-0 3, John 0 0-3 0, O'Farrell 2(1) 0-0 5. Totals: 29(4) 17-23 79.