Written by Joe DiBlasi
Cardinals settle in at No. 2 with a win over Spalding 


Drew Edwards and Nico Clareth

Drew Edwards (left) and Nico Clareth combined for 46 points and show poise in the clutch to lead Calvert Hall to another come-from-behind road win.

Coming off Sunday’s thrilling road win over Mount St. Joseph, Calvert Hall experienced an instant replay, Monday at No. 18 Archbishop Spalding, with another tense MIAA A Conference/Baltimore Catholic League basketball battle, as the Cardinals came from behind again with a little over a minute to play, defeating the host Cavaliers, 62-54.

Once again Nico Clareth was the star of the show for Calvert Hall (22-3, 11-3 MIAA, 8-2 BCL), which has risen to No. 2 in the latest Enoch Office/VSN Boys Basketball Top 20.

The Cavs (11-8, 6-5, 2-6) took a 54-52 lead with a 90 seconds to go in regulation on a trey by Jourdan Grant, but Clareth answered with a trey of his own on the Cardinals’ next possession, giving his team a one-point lead. Just seconds later, Clareth punctuated the Calvert Hall comeback with a javelin-jam-thunder dunk to increase the Hall lead to three.  The Cardinal defense kept Spalding from scoring from there there,  and the Hall converted five three throws down the stretch to secure an eight point win, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated.

Gary Jefferson (12 points), Malik Harris (13 points), Charles Meiklejohn (11 points) and Jourdan Grant (15 points) all keyed the Spalding run in the fourth quarter.  The Cavaliers led 49-45 with four minutes to play,  51-49 at the two minute mark, and 54-52 moments later, before Clareth worked his magic once again.

The high-flying, sharp-shooting junior replicated his Sunday afternoon performance against St. Joe when his trey and thunder dunk helped the Hall top the Gaels 69-66.

On his clutch effort in back-to-back close, comeback wins, Clareth said, “I know when it comes to crunch time, I have to click in and start going, and get the team going.  I try to do the same thing every night, and it just happened again for us.”

Edwards demonstrated poise and aplomb again for coach John Bauersfeld, pouring in a game leading 24 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Edwards was 7-for-7 from the line on the night, and he hit two with 35 seconds left to help seal the win.

“Yesterday was a key win for us, and everybody expected us to come down, and we knew what we had to do,” said Edwards.  “We knew they were going to go on a run, every home team does.  We knew we had to stick together
and we made some big shots with Nico and TJ (Duckett), and we got our momentum back.”

The Hall was 17-21 from the free throw line against the Cavaliers, and 9-for-12 in the fourth quarter, when it stepped up under pressure again.

NO. 2 CALVERT HALL 64, NO. 18 ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 54
CH  14  14  15 19  —  62
AS  15  10  18  11  —  54
Calvert Hall:
 Mayberry 6, Duckett 3, Phoenix 2, Clareth 22, Edwards 24, Rouse 2, Wallace 3.
Archbishop Spalding: Grant 15, Harris 13, Jefferson 12, Meiklejohn 11, Gilliland 3.

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