Friday, Dec. 17, 2010
By Michael O'Brien
De La Salle star Mike Shaw has been around long enough to know what to expect at Hales.
The hot, tiny gym hosts some of the most frantic games in the city, and the Meteors' 68-65 win Friday over the Spartans was no different.
"It was wild," Shaw said. "Everyone was running all over. We just did our best to keep our composure."
The game was played at breakneck speed, but the most crucial moment of the contest came with all ten players standing still and senior Devontae Gatewood at the free throw line. There were 16 seconds to play and De La Salle was clinging to a one-point lead.
Gatewood calmly drained both shots. Hales had a chance to tie, but two three-point attempts rimmed out before time expired.
"We have two All-Americans on the team but they trust the rest of us to do our jobs," Gatewood said. "I was confident I could knock both shots down."
Shaw finished with 22 points and three rebounds. He scored 12 in the third quarter, as the Meteors built a seven-point advantage.
Hales (5-2, 2-1 Catholic League) fought back behind eight consecutive points from Aaric Armstead and tied the game at 62 with 1:51 to play.
Shaw converted a stylish left-handed reverse layup to give the Meteors the lead for good on the next possession.
Aaric Armstead was a force throughout the game, finishing with 28 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-5 junior guard shot 11-for-15 from the field.
Seven players scored for De La Salle in the fourth quarter.
"We've got some tough guys with heart," Shaw said. "Everyone on the team came in here ready to play and win tonight. As long as we keep putting out that kind of effort we are going to be fine."
Dre Henley scored 12 and grabbed seven rebounds for De La Salle (8-0, 3-0). Sophomore Alex Foster added 11 points and five rebounds.
Aaron Armstead scored 12 points and Dominique Walls added 11 points and five rebounds. The Spartans outrebounded De La Salle 31-25, but were undone by 21 turnovers, including three in the final minute of the game.
"We have a lot of young players we are counting on," Shaw said. "But tonight they showed everyone they can compete."