The Spingarn boys hope last night's game against Good Counsel was the first of several against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference opponents. The Green Wave is aiming to face the league champion in the City Title game later this season.
Third-ranked Spingarn defeated Good Counsel, 59-49, to advance to the final of the Good Counsel Holiday Classic before an overflow crowd of about 1,000 in Wheaton. Spingarn will face another WCAC team--Paul VI Catholic--in the title game at 7:15 tonight. The Panthers advanced by defeating Theodore Roosevelt, 80-61, in the other first-round game.
The Spingarn-Good Counsel game was believed to be the first meeting between the schools, traditionally among the top teams in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, respectively. Spingarn last won the City Title game in 1984, but this season has four returning starters from a team that advanced to the DCIAA title game before losing to Dunbar.
Spingarn (6-0) clinched last night's game by making 7 of 8 free throws in the final 50 seconds, including 5 of 6 by junior guard Willie Brown. Good Counsel (5-2) had closed to 49-44 following a three-point basket by junior Kevin Rogus (28 points) with 2 minutes 50 seconds remaining.
"I thought we were knocking on the door, we just could not walk through it," Good Counsel Coach Joe McCall said. "I thought our kids put themselves in a position to win. They just could not do it this early in the season. Spingarn proved they are able to play with anyone."
Spingarn led 15-8 at the end of the first quarter and 28-18 at halftime. Good Counsel cut the deficit to five points four times in the third and fourth quarters. With 7:20 left in the game, Rogus made two free throws to cut the deficit to 46-41.
But Spingarn scored three straight points, on a dunk by senior Dion Saunders and a free throw by junior Anthony Williams, to take a 49-41 lead with 4:27 left.
Saunders and Williams each scored 15 points for Spingarn.
Notes: Lindsay Murphy scored a game-high 17 points as Good Counsel defeated Holton-Arms, 87-25, in a first-round girls game. The Falcons (4-1) will play Paul VI Catholic in the title game at 5:15 today. The Panthers defeated Madeira, 54-35.
All but one player scored for Good Counsel against Holton-Arms (3-4). The Falcons led 34-9 at the end of the first quarter and extended the lead to 55-11 following a basket by Jessi Olson midway through the second quarter.