Tim Robertson realized Hales needed to do something dramatic to change the game back in its favor. The Spartans watched their once comfortable 16-point lead melt to just four points.
Following a Spartans' miss, Gordon Tech appeared all but certain to climb within a one-possession game as lanky junior wing forward David Holiday was alone underneath the basket.
The athletic 6-2 senior forward arrived from the weak side to make a spectacular block. Hales called a time out to settle down and Robertson scored on a layup following the time out.
Robertson scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter and helped the visiting Spartans deny Gordon Tech a historic victory in the 58-52 Catholic League crossover game Friday night.
Gordon Tech was denied its second consecutive effort to post 1,000 victories in the program's history.
"Basically our whole team is based on defense," Robertson said. "Everything we do is predicated on defense, but at that moment, we weren't really playing defense and they made their run and I knew I had to make a play to settle the team down."
Junior guards Joseph Larry and Dominic Christian drilled back-to-back three-pointers and junior forward Nick Barnes converted a three-point play during a 10-0 Hales run that helped the Spartans (4-4, 2-1) leap out to a 33-21 lead at the break.
Hales forced 11 Gordon Tech turnovers in the first half. The Rams were also hurt by the early foul trouble of Holiday and senior guard Chris Flores, who failed to score. Both picked up two early fouls and had to sit much of the first half.
Senior swingman Eddie Miles was the Hales' catalyst. The 6-3 guard scored only eight points but distributed seven assists and added six rebounds as Miles repeatedly drove the middle of the floor and found open Hales' shooters on the perimeter or driving toward the rim.
"That's what my coach [Gary London] has me do," Miles said. "All I do is go to the hole and kick it out. We have a whole bunch of people who can shoot. If they'e not open I have the freedom to get to the basket myself, that's why I was able to get to the free throw line a lot."
Larry scored nine of his team-leading 13 points in the first half.
Gordon Tech (4-3, 1-2) staged its rally late in the third quarter behind the electrifying outside shooting of gifted freshman guard Octavius Parker and 6-6 wide-bodied, low-post banger Raequan Williams.
Parker hit five three-pointers and scored a game-high 19 points. After Hales took its largest lead at 44-28 on a Miles basket, Parker ignited a 12-0 Rams' burst by nailing a three-pointer and scoring on a layup in transition off a Hales' turnover to end the third quarter.
Parker's fourth three-pointer, off an offensive rebound, was bridged around two Williams' layups, at the start of the fourth quarter. Williams posted a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Rams.
Following Robertson's block and inside score, Larry stole the ball in the backcourt and sank two free throws after being fouled. Larry also drove and assisted Robertson's three-point play with 3:11 remaining that restored the Spartans' 10-point advantage at 51-41.
Gordon Tech never got closer than six points the remainder of the game.
"Eddie did a great job penetrating and getting me the ball on the inside," Robertson said. "They were leaving me open and I was able to get to the basket."
Eight different players scored for Hales. Senior guard E'mon Frison added eight points and five assists for the Spartans.
Junior guard Chris Harrell contributed eight points for the Rams.