McDonogh's No. 1 girls basketball team expected to be tested yesterday against Philadelphia's Archbishop Carroll, and it was -- for about 11 minutes.
At the Seton Keough Tip-Off Tournament, the Patriots led McDonogh by as many as five points until the Eagles rolled, behind 37 points from Vicki Brick, to a 73-50 victory.
The Eagles (2-0) rushed their offense early and hit only four of their first 14 shots while collecting just one offensive rebound. With less than a minute to go in the first quarter, they trailed 14-9.
"We weren't working the ball around," said guard Jazmine Norton. "We were just taking the first shot. We weren't making them work that hard on defense, so they didn't have to use a lot of energy. When our defense picked up, our offense worked well."
The first offensive explosion came in the final minute of the first quarter. Brick scored on three breakaway layups, the first assisted by Katie Nelson and two more from Norton. Brick's final basket of the quarter, initiated by a steal by Norton, capped a six-point spurt and gave the Eagles their first lead, 15-14.
But that was only the beginning.
Brick, last year's All-Metro Player of the Year, was just starting her show. The 5-foot-7 point guard scored 14 points in the second quarter, including 10 in a three-minute, 12-3 run as the Eagles pulled away to a 35-23 halftime lead.
"As a team, we picked up our whole intensity when we made that run," said Brick, who has signed with Maryland. "Everyone got in sync, and that gave us a lot of momentum."
The Patriots (0-1) could not counter Brick, who drove for most of the 20 points she scored in the nine minutes before the half.
LTC "She just blitzed us," said Patriots coach Barry Kirsch. "We lost a little concentration in the second quarter, and they really started picking up the tempo. That's when [Brick] took off. We're trying to be a pressing team, and obviously, it didn't work today, because she's very hard to press."
The Eagles did not let up in the second half despite the Patriots' press, running their lead to 52-31 in the first five minutes.
While Brick's performance -- which included six rebounds and five assists -- led the way, the Eagles also got stellar games from the rest of their starting cast.
Despite picking up her third foul with 45 seconds to go in the first quarter, Greichaly Cepero, a 6-2 transfer from Puerto Rico, had 15 points and seven rebounds.
Aisha Mason had 10 points and 16 rebounds, and guards Norton and Nelson combined for nine points. They also played superb defense -- Norton had five steals, and Nelson had two steals and took three charges.
Pub Date: 12/07/98