Blazing McDonogh rumbles past Reds, eyes No. 1 ranking Eagles shoot 54 percent to beat Roland Park, 62-47

Girls basketball

January 06, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Second-ranked McDonogh finally met a local defensive match, but No. 3 Roland Park couldn't come close to matching the Eagles on offense.

The Eagles shot 54 percent from the field to beat a feisty Reds squad, 62-47, last night in an Association of Independent Schools A Division game.

A rematch of last year's AIS title game won 58-43 by the Eagles, last night's game featured a shooting clinic by McDonogh's big three -- Shani Moore (21 points), Mary Urban (14 points) and Vicki Brick (12 points). The trio shot a combined 69 percent from the field.

"I know they're good shooters, but they can't keep shooting like they shot today," said Reds coach Scott Buckley.

The host Reds (12-3 overall, 1-1 AIS) shot a respectable 38 percent and were within 10 points with six minutes left, but missed too many easy shots throughout the game.

"We worked very hard to get a good shot and then we didn't convert when we needed to," said Buckley.

While the guard matchups turned out even statistically -- Betsy Gaines had 14 points and Meghan Kelly 12 for the Reds -- the inside game belonged to Moore. The Eagles' athletic six-foot center dominated the boards with 15 rebounds -- only six fewer than the entire Reds team. The Eagles had a 34-21 rebounding edge.

Until last night, the Eagles (11-1, 3-0) had made a habit of blowing out their Baltimore opponents by halftime, but Roland Park gave them trouble. Sparked by five Gaines steals, the Reds were within 26-20 at intermission.

Shortly after, however, the Eagles began pulling away. Moore, Urban and Brick scored all the points in an 11-2 run that gave McDonogh a 43-26 lead with 2: 43 left in the third quarter.

After All-Metro point guard Brick sat down with her fourth foul on the first play of the fourth quarter, the Reds cut the margin to 48-38 with a 6-2 run, capped by Gaines' layup with 6: 08 left.

Brick returned and the Eagles answered with an 11-1 run, including four points from Aisha Mason and five from Jazmine Norton. Norton's 20-footer gave the Eagles a 60-39 lead with 3: 20 left.

The Eagles, who have now beaten five Top 20 teams by an average of 20.2 points, will get their shot at the No. 1 spot next Monday when they host top-ranked St. Mary's. The Saints had their record fall to 9-4 last night with a loss to Riverdale Baptist, 53-49.

However, the Reds get the first crack at St. Mary's and could do the Eagles a favor by upsetting the Saints Saturday afternoon at 4 at Villa Julie College.

The metro area's top ranking has been about the only thing to elude the two-time defending AIS champion Eagles this season.

"This year we're really playing like a team," said Moore. "We've never been No. 1 and we just want to show that we can play with anybody."

Pub Date: 1/06/98

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