Calvert Hall presses, McDonogh folds, 79-61 Eagles make 20 turnovers

Bryant scores 30 for Cards


December 17, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Calvert Hall showed visiting McDonogh that sometimes the best offense is a good defense. And a dose of Reggie Bryant doesn't hurt either.

The host Cardinals used an aggressive defense to force 20 turnovers and disrupt the Eagles' offense, and Bryant scored a game-high 30 points to help No. 8 Calvert Hall defeat No. 19 McDonogh, 79-61, last night.

Calvert Hall (6-0) gave McDonogh (4-1) trouble all over the court with its suffocating defense. The Cardinals were tough in half-court situations, often overplaying and cutting off the passing lanes. The Eagles rarely got shots off without hands being in their faces.

But Calvert Hall gave McDonogh fits with its full-court presses. The Cardinals threw some different looks at the Eagles and made several steals off inbounds passes that they turned into easy points.

Calvert Hall didn't press the whole game but put it on at certain times. When the Cardinals began trapping more out of the press in the second half, the turnovers and points added up quickly.

"I thought that our presses wore them down," Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci said. "That's Calvert Hall basketball. We're going to play you baseline to baseline for 32 minutes."

McDonogh coach Matt MacMullan said his team wasn't surprised by the presses, especially the traps, but getting the ball out of the backcourt became a struggle at times.

"We didn't handle the ball well," MacMullan said. "They used a couple of different types of presses, [and] we had to react to it quicker."

They also had to do something about Bryant. A 6-foot-3 junior guard, he scored from several different spots and hit 12 of 13 from the free-throw line. He came up big in the fourth quarter, scoring 11.

Bryant hit a three-pointer and two free throws on back-to-back possessions early in the fourth quarter for five points 17 seconds apart. He then made four free throws at one time, stretching the Calvert Hall lead to 12. McDonogh could not draw closer.

"We just try to get out in the passing lanes and deflect the ball," Bryant said. "We're very quick and small, and we like to run a lot."

The Cardinals scored 34 in the fourth quarter as both teams increased the tempo. Calvert Hall made 9 of 13 from the field in the final quarter -- and 11 of 14 free throws.

MacMullan said while losing is never much fun, this proved to be a good game for his inexperienced players.

"Sometimes learning can be painful," he said with a smile. "It was a great learning experience [because] they're a very good team."

Pub Date: 12/17/97

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