McDonogh wallops St. Mary's to justify its new No. 1 rating Eagles jump on top early, then cruise to 55-39 win

Girls basketball

January 13, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

McDonogh punctuated its ascent to the area's No. 1 ranking with a convincing 55-39 victory last night over No. 3 St. Mary's, the previous week's top-rated team.

St. Mary's (11-6) already had lost the top ranking after falling to Roland Park Saturday, but the Eagles (13-1) proved they deserved to be on top. They never trailed in last night's game and broke it open by outscoring the Saints 20-5 in the second quarter.

The showdown between the two-time Association of Independent Schools champion Eagles and the Catholic League champion Saints came down to teamwork -- the Eagles used it, the Saints did not.

"It [being No. 1] means a lot to them," said Eagles coach Katie Keating, "but they're so excited that everyone contributed and everyone played so well. They know that if they go out and play as a team and play good defense, then all of the wins and all that other stuff is going to come."

The host Eagles played terrific defense and set up their offense with excellent ball movement. As a result, they held the Saints to 27 percent shooting while hitting 47 percent themselves.

Mary Urban led the Eagles with 22 points, hitting 10 of 16 shots. Center Shani Moore shot 5-for-5, scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds despite playing with a mild shoulder sprain.

The Eagles also got strong defensive games from guards Vicki Brick and Jazmine Norton. Moore got help from Ellen Haller (eight rebounds) and Aisha Mason (five rebounds). The inside trio limited the Saints to just one follow shot the entire game.

In the second quarter, Urban and Moore proved nearly unstoppable and the Eagles began to pull away. The senior duo combined for 14 points in a 16-2 run.

Urban scored nine points in the quarter, running off screens to nail 10-18-foot jump shots.

"She's a great spot shooter," said Saints coach Harry Dobson, "and we didn't get through the screens to pick her up."

Against the Eagles' swarming man-to-man, the Saints couldn't get anything going in the second quarter, turning the ball over seven times and committing two off-the-ball offensive fouls. They hit only two of nine shots.

"In the first quarter, we did a good job running the offense we were supposed to run, but in the second quarter it was too much one-on-one basketball," said Dobson, who had never before lost two games in a row in his seven seasons as St. Mary's coach.

The Saints continued to struggle after the half, turning the ball over four times as the Eagles ran their lead to 44-20 on Haller's baseline jumper midway through the third quarter. The Saints managed to cut the lead to 15 but not until the final two minutes.

"We have to sit down and start talking as a team, because we really weren't playing with a very team attitude," said Saints forward Tiffany Schummer. "We need to concentrate on pulling together if we want to have a successful season from here on out."

Terri Daniels scored 13 for the Saints and Emily Lipton 11, while Maria Smear held McDonogh's Brick to only two field goals and eight points.

Pub Date: 1/13/98

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