The St. Mary’s boys basketball team resumed Catholic Central League play Monday night with a 74-54 win over Cardinal Spellman at Tony Conigliaro Gymnasium.
Jalen Echevarria led all scorers with 21 points. Ademide Badmus added 15 points and Sammy Batista scored 10 off the bench. Marcus Brunson-Perez and Josh Perez each scored eight points.
After St. Mary’s scored the first two baskets in the opening quarter, Joey Abate-Walsh found a wide-open Badmus for an easy lay-up and the Spartans were running with a 6-0 lead. Spellman’s Jack Grafton knocked in a 3-pointer to put the Cardinals on the board. Echevarria’s lay-up on Brunson-Perez’s assist put the Spartans ahead by double digits, 16-5, and their lead ballooned when they scored the next eight points. St. Mary’s led 24-5 at the end of the first quarter.
“Guys really shared the ball,” St. Mary’s coach Dave Brown said. “We knew we were the better team coming into tonight but at the same time I told these guys, ‘We have to defend, move the ball and share the ball.’ We’re trying to work on a little bit of a different offense. We went five out tonight, trying to get Ademide and Joey out on the perimeter, do some basket cuts. We still want them rebounding the ball but if we can spread the floor and have a low-post presence, it gives teams things to think about when defending us.”
Spellman didn’t score again until it went on an 8-0 run early in the second quarter. But 3-pointers from Brunson-Perez and Batista toward the end of the half put St. Mary’s back on track. At halftime, the Spartans led 46-22 with eight players on the scoresheet.
“Our ball movement was very good in the first half,” Brown said. “We spaced the floor going five out at times. We haven’t been using that much in games. We’ve been working on it in practice.”
A solid third quarter for Spellman saw the Cardinals slim St. Mary’s lead by 10 points. Grafton beat the buzzer with a lay-up to bring Spellman within 14, down 57-43 heading into the final period.
“We didn’t defend as well as we normally do,” Brown said. “That can happen in games like this. We decided at halftime that I’d rotate the groups in every two minutes so I don’t think they got into the flow of the game as well as they should’ve. We wanted to get everyone some playing time.”
St. Mary’s sealed the win after Spellman cut the Spartans’ lead to 11 in the fourth. A 9-0 run capped by an alley-oop from Echevarria to Badmus put the Cardinals away for good.
St. Mary’s (9-0) hosts Cathedral Friday (6:30).
“We’re 3-0 in the (CCL) but we have some tough games coming,” Brown said. “We have Cathedral, we have Fenwick. Going on the road in this league’s very tough because of the size of the courts. It’s a tough atmosphere. We know we have to come to play every single night. We’re trying to get better every game, every practice.”
Shawsheen 54, Lynn Tech 50
Rob Wallace just missed a double-double at 17 points and seven rebounds. Johan Ortega scored 11 points, knocking home three 3-pointers. Qasim Abellard scored six points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Salem 81, Boston English 65
The Witches improved to 5-2. Isaiah Williamson logged a double-double at 10 points and 10 rebounds. Tommy Beauregard scored 12 points with six rebounds and Guillermo Pimentel added 11 points.
Salem visits Winthrop Tuesday (7).
St. Mary’s 69, Cardinal Spellman 33
The Spartans came out of the gates on fire as they raced to their sixth straight win.
St. Mary’s was led by guards Yirsy Queliz and Gabby Torres with 12 points apiece.
Pamela Gonzalez and Olivia Matela each scored 10 points. St. Marys was 27-for-59 (45 percent) and buried 11 3-pointers.
The Spartans (8-2) visit Cathedral Friday (6:30).
Classical 96, Somerville 79
Carly Mendonca was a double-winner for the Rams, taking first in both the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly. Other individual winners for Classical were Jacob Lang in the 100 freestyle, Zachary Westin in the 200 freestyle, Sidney Finnigan in the 500 freestyle and Ciara Collins in diving. The Rams also won all three relays, with the team of Mendonca, Lang, Adam Mariano and Christian Flores winning the 200 medley relay, the team of Mariano, Westin, Daniel Puma and Fernando Gomez winning the 200 freestyle relay and the team of Flores, Lang, Finnigan and Mendonca winning the 400 freestyle relay.
Classical (2-4) is back in the pool Thursday against cross-town rival English.
Bishop Fenwick 94, Matignon 76
The Crusaders took first place in six of the 11 events to earn a victory. Individual winners for Fenwick were Catherine Christuk in the 100 backstroke (1:04.03), Sophia Lumino in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.94), Meredith Yuhasz in the 200 freestyle (2:13.90) and Audrey Waldinger in the 500 freestyle (6:27.16). The Crusaders also won two relay races, with the team of Christuk, Lumino, Stephen Szpak and Emily DelBene winning the 200 medley relay (2:05.47) and the team of Christuk, Lumino, Yuhasz and Sabrina Botthof winning the 400 freestyle relay (4:01.50).
Marblehead 44, Danvers 42
The Magicians got wins from Richard Decarvalho in the high jump (five feet, six inches), Nik Kams in the 55-meter hurdles (8.7 seconds), Chris Barone in the 55 dash (6.5) and Oliver Glass in the two-mile (10:48.5).
Somerville 70, English 14
English got wins from Michael Falasca in the 600 (1:39.6) and Adnan Jalal in the 1000 (2:58.2).
Marblehead 57, Danvers 29
Marblehead winners included Catherine Wager in the high jump (4-6), Cristina Botnaru in the 55 hurdles (9.8), Rachael Gregory in the 55 dash (8.1), Grace Miller in the 300 (49.1), Michaela Haliotis in the 1000 (3:33.5), Bella Corsini in the one-mile (5:42.5) and Caroline Johnson in the two-mile (12:51.3).
Somerville 51, English 16
The lone winner for English on the day was Kahlee Smith-Whelton, who took first in the shot put with a distance of 30-1 1/2.