Spalding Tops No. 4 St. Joe, 81-71

(From left) Charlie Meikeljohn, Earl Potts, Jordan Grant and Marcel Massimini combined for 72 points as Spalding knocked off St. Joe, 81-71

Written by Joe DiBlasi 12/11/12

Archbishop Spalding had four players in double figures as the Cavaliers defeated fourth-ranked Mount Saint Joseph, 81-71, in Anne Arundel County on Tuesday night in MIAA A Conference/Baltimore Catholic League action.

Junior Jordan Grant led the Cavs (5-2, 3-0, 2-0) with 22 points, 20 of which came in the second half. Grant caught fire to start the second half, scoring eight straight points to help Spalding take a 41-35 lead. The Cavs held they lead the rest of the way over the defending BCL champs.

Sophomore Charles Meikeljohn had 20 points for coach Derrick Lewis, 14 of which came in the first half. Earl Potts had 15, including two fourth quarter dunks, and Marcel Massimini added 15 of his own.

Masimini had 10 fourth quarter points that helped give the Cavs an insurmountable 69-52 lead with four minutes to play.

“We’re starting to play together as a team,” said Massimini, who played at Cardinal Gibbons before it was shuttered. “We’ve got good chemistry. The key was that we shared the ball, looking for the open man.”

Potts said that when the Cavs play as a team, they score. “It was an offensive game tonight.

“We switched off, and had a lot of communication on defense,” added Potts.

The Cavs limited St. Joe’s Kameron Williams to two field goals on the night, which was one of the keys to the win. Williams finished with 15 points, going 11-for-11 from the free throw line. Teammate Phil Booth led all scorers with 32 points, including four three-pointers.

Jordan Grant hit four treys for the Cavaliers. “I was struggling in the first half,” said Grant. “I stepped up and knocked down shots [in the second half].”

Meikeljohn said that Lewis tells him to go strong to the basket. “I just had to come on strong.”

Lewis said that he is trying to get his team to play the way the Gaels have played over the years, paying attention to detail. On Williams, Lewis said that he told his squad not to let him get a wide open shot. “We tried to pressure Williams and Phil Booth; they can score naturally. I’m glad we did what we had to do.”

St. Joe coach Pat Clatchey said that his team got out-played pretty much in every phase of the game. “Hats off to Spalding. We knew coming in that they were a good team, and we’ve been struggling defensively all year.

“Each game is a new challenge. We’ve got to play with toughness and hunger, and I didn’t see much of that from us tonight.”

It was the first MIAA league game of the year for the Gaels (8-2, 0-1, 1-1).