Third-ranked McKinley squandered most of its 26-point lead but choked off surging Springard, 91-83, in an Interhigh League battle for first place yesterday at McKinley.
The Trainers raised their league mark to 8-0, and 16-1 overall. The 12th-ranked Green Wave fell to 8-2 in the lague and 13-5 overall.
McKinley jumped on a Green Wave zone defense for baskets in bunches, streaking ahead 41-25 at the half.
The Trainers took a commanding 64-42 advantage after three periods, connecting on nine of 12 attempts from the floor in a productive third quarter.
With a seemingly insurmountable advantage, McKinly coach Walter Kennedy filled the floor with substitutes. Spingarn, usually strong in the final quarter, took advantage of Kennedy's generosity and began to peck away.
"I knew I'd lose something when I subbed," said Kennedy. "But these guys have sat on the bench all year and this was a good time for them to gain game experience without pressure."
With Joe Brawner scoring from the outside and teammates Diego McCoy and Reggie Nance scrapping for garbage baskets underneath, Springarn sliced McKinley's advantage to 15, 12, eight, and finally six points wiht 30 seconds remaining.
By the time Kennedy has rushed his starters back to stem the Green Wave comeback, Brawner's steal and subsequent layup had narrowed the deficit to, 87-83 with 20 seconds remaining.
McKinley's Jarvis Smith then sank two free throws for a six point edge with 12 seconds left, assuring McKinley's 16th straight victory.
"The guys don't quit," said Green Wave coach John Wood. "But when you get behind to a good club by that much, it's hard to come back."
Cardozo 58, Ballou 55
Barry Birdsong made both one-and-one foul shots with two seconds remaining to clinch Cardozo's victory over Ballou at Springarn.
Dunbar 112, Wilson 46
Kenney Mattews sank 22 of 33 shots and seven of eight free throws to finish with 51 points and lead Dunbar to a romp over Wilson at Anacostia, Mattews, a 6-foot-3 senior, scored 30 points in the first half as Dunbar took a 37-point lead.
Eastern 74, Bell 33
James Ratiff scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Eastern routed visiting Bell. Tony Hawkins and Rodney Wright each added 10 points while handing out nine and 13 assists, respectively.
T. Roosevelt 63, Phelps 50
Paul Stanton scored eight points in the first half as Theodore Roosevelt broke to a six-point lead and toppled visiting Phelps.
H. D. Woosson 81, Chamberlain 54
Andrew Corbin scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half to power H. D. Woodson past Chamberlain at Phelps.
Anacostia 72, Coolidge 69
Dexter Price scored three points in the final two minutes and Clarence Murdock added a free throw as Anacostia broke a 68-68 tie and edged Coolidge at Wilson.