McDonogh slips past St. Mary's Eagles gain share of first with Saints after 59-46 win

January 28, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Lessons are to be learned on the basketball court and two teams learned a lot about themselves at McDonogh last night.

Young McDonogh learned it can play offense against one of the better man-to-man, pressure defenses in its league as it posted a 59-46 victory over St. Mary's.

The Saints learned the game can be as mental as it is physical, especially in big games, and that senior guard Jamal Reed has much to do with the team's continuity.

Reed, who is averaging 3.3 assists and nearly as many steals per game, missed last night's game due to juvenile diabetes. He will be out indefinitely, according to his father and coach, Roger Reed.

"Jamal has been out of school for a while, and it's a matter of how he responds to his medicine," said Reed. "A little of our continuity is gone without Jamal."

The victory left the host Eagles (13-2) in a first-place tie with St. Mary's (12-7) in the eight-team Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) B Conference at 6-1 each.

Owen Daly, a 6-foot-2 junior, and David Lunn, a 6-4 sophomore, combined for 32 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Eagles, who overcame a 23-point effort by the Saints' D.J. Dauses.

"I told our kids that our best games are ahead of us because we are so young and still learning," said McDonogh's rookie coach Matt MacMullan, who has no seniors and a host of sophomores.

"As they develop physically, they can play with any team in our league. We thought they [St. Mary's] would play us man-to-man. They're a very good defensive team and it was great learning experience for us."

No seniors tried out for the team, MacMullan said, because "we upped the ante this year, more work and wanted more of a commitment to basketball."

MacMullan also felt his Eagles have learned to "handle themselves well in tight situations," and hit their free throws down stretch. McDonogh sank 14-of-16 free-throw attempts in the final period, 10 of 12 coming in the last 3 1/2 minutes when it was a five-point game.

"We've been shooting well from the line most of the season, over 70 percent," said MacMullan, whose Eagles hit 22 of 28 (.785) free throws last night. "Tonight, that was a big difference."

In contrast, the Saints sank only 3 of 9 free-throw attempts, and played an uninspired first half. "We came out flat," said Reed. "McDonogh came out mentally ready and we were rather complacent."

Pub Date: 1/28/98

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