St. Frances pays back McDonogh

No. 2 Panthers answer earlier upset, 53-42

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 26, 2002|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

For more than two weeks, Angel McCoughtry and her St. Frances teammates plotted exactly how they would avenge their Jan. 7 loss to then-unranked McDonogh. They would have to dominate the boards, eliminate McDonogh's second-chance buckets and pick up the transition game.

No one said anything about McCoughtry pulling off the first triple double of her career. But that sure didn't hurt.

The blistering-quick, 6-foot sophomore had 15 points, 15 rebounds and 10 steals last night as the No. 2 Panthers paid back the fifth-ranked Eagles, 53-42, in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game in Owings Mills.

"We were really motivated," said McCoughtry, whose team lost the No. 1 ranking after the 50-48 loss to McDonogh. "We wanted it really bad and I was just trying to dominate, get easy shots and get fast breaks to the basket."

McCoughtry's job has gotten even tougher now that the defending IAAM-champion Panthers have lost 6-2 Keila Evans for the season. Evans, who has signed with Wake Forest, had knee surgery earlier this week to repair loose cartilage.

That leaves McCoughtry as the only Panther over 5-9. Still, it didn't stop her from almost single-handedly keeping the Eagles' inside duo of 5-10 Camrell Gholston (12 points, 12 rebounds) and 6-foot Mariah Daly (six points, 11 rebounds) from dominating on their offensive end.

"I don't think there's anyone else in this area who is as athletic and can jump like she can," said McDonogh coach Jon Washington. "Her athleticism becomes intimidating. When she comes out and blocks your shot, you're hesitant to shoot again."

The Panthers (13-4, 11-1 conference) needed McCoughtry, who has been prone to foul trouble at times, to stay in the game, not just because of her ability to dominate and spark transition but because only seven St. Frances players dressed for the game. Panthers coach Jerome Shelton said the other five players were benched for violating an unspecified team rule.

The Eagles (11-5, 8-4) made up some ground just before halftime when McCoughtry sat with her second foul at the 2:46 mark. McDonogh dominated the boards during the stretch and went on a 5-2 run to pull within 27-23 at the half.

McCoughtry picked up her third foul two minutes into the third quarter, but she stayed on the court and had six steals in the period. Forcing those turnovers helped the Panthers hold McDonogh to just four points in the quarter while running up as much as a 16-point lead.

McCoughtry made most of her steals in the paint and sent St. Frances on a 14-4 run that culminated in two Shadae Swan free throws and a 41-26 lead.

While McCoughtry grabbed star billing, she had plenty of support from her teammates, especially Swan, another sophomore, who scored 15. Kia Coady scored nine and Nija Bastfield eight. Jamilah Lee, Denae Kennedy and Charmira McKoy also contributed.

"It was a total team effort," said Shelton. "We said from the start that we needed to play a different game than we did the first time we met McDonogh - higher energy level, more intensity defensively and we just needed to make our shots when we needed to make them."

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