WILMINGTON — Archmere’s boys basketball team was having trouble putting points on the board against Saint Mark’s during the teams’ battle on Feb. 5. The Auks trailed the Spartans, 31-21, after three quarters and were searching for answers on offense.
The still trailed by nine, 32-23, late in the fourth when their fortunes changed. A furious rally sent the game to overtime, and the Auks — who have 12 juniors and seniors on their 15-man roster — used two big field goals from the team’s lone freshman to squeak by Saint Mark’s, 37-34, in overtime at the third annual SL24 Memorial Classic at the 76res Fieldhouse.
Saint Mark’s led, 32-23, with 3:19 remaining when Kieran Udovich hit both ends of a one-and-one. Anthony Mariano twisted for a layup at the 2:50 mark following an Auks steal to cut the Spartans’ lead to 32-27. Both teams missed free throws before a foul gave possession to the Auks with 2:07 left.
Archmere came out of the timeout and worked the ball around until their freshman, Matthew McCarthy, got free in the corner and hit a three-pointer to cut the Auks’ deficit to just two. Matthew Dellose tied the game at 32 with a bucket with 40.4 to go, giving the Spartans a chance to hold for a final shot.
Things didn’t go as planned, however, as the Spartans turned the ball over with 6.9 ticks left on a five-second call. Archmere missed a baseline jumper, however, sending the game to an extra four minutes.
After a lengthy Saint Mark’s possession to open the overtime, Jabri White put the Spartans back on top with a free throw, their first point since the beginning of the fourth quarter. Then McCarthy hit the biggest shot of his young high school career. He got free in the corner, took a pass from Albero and swished a three to put his team on top, 35-33, with 2:17 left. White took one point off the Archmere lead with a free throw in the final 25 seconds, and Albero extended the lead to three with two more from the charity stripe.
A three-point attempt from the top of the circle hit off the front rim, and the Auks’ comeback was complete.
The Spartans for three and a half quarters thanks in large part to White. He scored six points in the first quarter, two on a slam dunk, and six more in the third. Dominic Shepherd augmented that with a pair of threes.
McCarthy had nine points and Dellose eight to lead Archmere. The Auks improved to 6-1 and return home for their next game on Monday at 6 against First State Military.
White led all scorers with 16. The Spartans (3-2) will host St. Elizabeth on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.