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Bishop Walsh controls final three minutes to beat Calvary, split season series

Feb. 17—CRESAPTOWN — Bishop Walsh's defense stepped up when needed most, holding Calvary Christian to two points in the final three minutes of a 55-44 win on Friday.

"I'm just happy we got them back," Bishop Walsh head coach Ryan Mattingly said. "They beat us on our home court earlier this year, so it was good to come and even the matchup up."

Leading 46-42 with 3:01 remaining, the Spartans (5-10) held the Eagles (5-12) to one field goal to end the game.

"It wasn't one of our best games," Calvary head coach Steve Robinette said. "We started out the season pretty rough and we started to come around when we needed to at the end of the season. Defensively, I thought we did really well."

While Bishop Walsh shot 5 of 8 at the free-throw line in the final three minutes, the Spartans left a golden opportunity to seal the win earlier.

Bishop Walsh drew a foul on a 3-point attempt, but missed all three free throws.

It kept the score 50-42 with just under two minutes to go.

However, the Spartans applied heavy pressure inside, forcing Calvary to take rushed 3-pointers that had little chance of finding the net.

"We didn't turn the ball over, we didn't have some of the unforced turnovers that we've had earlier in the year," Mattingly said. "Unfortunately, we didn't make some of the free throws that would've made it a little more comfortable."

The Eagles missed five 3-pointers in the final two minutes.

Missed opportunities were arguably the biggest factor for Calvary throughout the evening.

The Eagles had countless opportunities around the rim, especially in the first half that missed the mark.

It led to a 9 of 26 shooting mark in the first half.

"We didn't rebound well on offense, we had a lot of turnovers," Robinette said. "A lot of missed opportunities tonight."

The Eagles also struggled with turnovers, committing 10 in the first half and 17 overall.

The Spartans committed only three in the first half and 10 overall.

"It was us not handling the ball right," Robinette said. "We had a lot of dropped passes and about every turnover led to two points. They got a lot of transition points on our turnovers."

The Eagles led for most of the first quarter, but the Spartans rallied late.

Bishop Walsh trailed 10-4 with just under three minutes to go in the first and went on an 8-2 run to take a 12-10 lead.

With 10 seconds remaining in the quarter, Nathan Strachen set up Brady Morgan for a 3-pointer to give Calvary a 15-12 lead going into the second period.

Morgan led the Eagles in the first half offensively, scoring seven in the first quarter and finishing the half with 14 points.

"Brady was the hot hand tonight," Robinette said. "We failed to feed him the ball when he needed it. Him being as hot as he was and us not feeding him the ball, that got us down."

Levi Carrington set up Morgan for a layup late in the second quarter that gave Calvary a 23-22 lead.

The Spartans responded with a coast-to-coast layup from David DiNola, retaking the lead with 10 seconds left in the half.

DiNola scored 10 points in the second half and finished with 12 overall and a steal.

With several players around the rim chasing a rebound, Morgan scored on a putback at the buzzer to give the Eagles a 25-24 halftime lead.

"That was big, we thought that was gonna be the momentum booster that we needed," Robinette said. "But we just came out flat on offense."

After the teams exchanged leads to open the second half, Rodion Horbansenko hit a fast break layup to retake the lead for Bishop Walsh at 28-27 with 5:55 left in the third quarter.

Horbansenko scored 15 points in the second half and finished with a game-high 27 with five steals.

"He leaves it all on the court," Mattingly said. "He plays from start to finish, offensively, defensively he rebounds and tries to get his guys involved."

The Spartans led the remainder of the game, but the Eagles cut the deficit to 33-32 late in the third.

After a steal by Riley O'Brien, Morgan assisted Strachen on a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game.

Strachen finished with 10 points, three steals and a block.

Bishop Walsh responded with a pair of scores in the final minute, including another buzzer-beater to end the third quarter.

Minh Lee set up DiNola for a layup to extend the Spartans' lead to 39-34.

Before the game, Calvary recognized Carrington on Senior Night.

"Levi's a leader on and off the court," Robinette said. "He directs traffic when needed and his leadership has been a pillar on our team."

Carrington scored seven points with three assists and a steal.

After the Elite team folded last summer, the future of the Bishop Walsh boy's basketball program was in jeopardy.

The Spartans were able to build a team and have played 13 games with two more scheduled.

Bishop Walsh hosts Mountain Ridge on Monday at 7 p.m.

"It means a lot, I coached the seventh and eighth grade team last year," Mattingly said of being able to play a complete season. "I have five freshmen on the team, two or three start. It's really good to have the program still going on."

Calvary heads to Grace to open the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference playoffs on Tuesday.

Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Email him with scores and story suggestions at jkendall@times-news.com.