No. 2 Spalding, the IAAM-A champion, scrimmaged No. 1 St. John’s and No. 4 Good Counsel before the season. The Cavaliers hope they get to bookend the season by facing those teams this week in the Bishop Walsh Girls Invitational tournament from Thursday through Saturday in Cumberland, Md.
Spalding (27-1) has been idle since defeating McDonogh in the IAAM-A final Feb. 17. The Cavaliers practiced twice last week and plan to practice Monday through Wednesday of this week.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how we come back,” said Spalding Coach Bookie Rosemond, whose team in its first-round game will play Elizabeth Seton, an opponent the Cavaliers beat, 63-52, on Jan. 7. The other first-round game in that half of the bracket is Seton Keough-Good Counsel.
On the other side, it’s Bishop Walsh-St. John’s and Georgetown Visitation-McDonogh.
Spalding’s three-first-team all-IAAM picks — Jade Scaife, Camille Calhoun and Aleah Epps — might get to square off against many of the more celebrated Washington Catholic Athletic Conference players. The Cavaliers, top-ranked in the Baltimore Sun, won at No. 6 Riverdale Baptist on Feb. 8.
“When you’re fighting for respect and crying for respect there’s no better way to get it than to go beat three very, very good teams,” Rosemond said. “I’ve always considered the IAAM championship like the ACC tournament. We’re fighting to win the ACC tournament and once we get that we get an automatic berth to this NCAA [the Bishop Walsh tournament]. We’re going up there to the NCAA tournament and playing teams outside of our ACC conference championship. It’s a great opportunity.”
Spalding last season lost in the IAAM final and “couldn’t get over the heartbreak” to refocus for the Bishop Walsh Invitational, where the Cavaliers lost two of three games, including to Elizabeth Seton in the first round.