Seton Keough thwarts McDonogh rally, 41-39

High schools

Girls basketball


When Seton Keough point guard B.J. Williams came off the bench with four fouls and 3:43 left in last night's McDonogh game, she had two jobs: Keep from getting that fifth foul and steady the reeling Gators.

Williams' leadership and a pair of free throws from freshman Aysa Bussie thwarted a late-game Eagles rally and carried No. 5 Seton Keough to a 41-39 victory in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference girls basketball game at McDonogh.

With 5:27 left, the Gators (3-1, 2-1) appeared in control, leading by the biggest margin of the night, 38-25. Then Williams, a savvy sophomore, picked up her fourth foul and headed to the bench.

McDonogh All-Metro guard Brittany Mallory hit both ends of the resulting one-and-one and the Eagles went to a man-to-man press. The Gators turned the ball over three times in less than two minutes as the second-ranked Eagles went on an 8-0 run.

Becky Cox hit two shots and as soon as Mallory's 15-footer pulled McDonogh within 38-33 at 3:44, Williams returned.

"We just broke down on defense and we let them get open shots," Williams said. "They gained some confidence and they got their momentum going. We were taking so many quick shots, I just had to take some time off the clock."

Seton Keough coach Jackie Boswell expected the Gators to struggle against the press without Williams' experience.

"We decided we were going back with B.J. at the three-minute mark or if they got within seven," Boswell said. "I thought she did an excellent job not picking up that fifth foul."

But the Eagles (1-4, 1-3) weren't finished. They pulled within 39-37 on Mallory's layup with 1:22 left, but when Mallory fouled Bussie on a rebound 25 seconds later, the freshman made both free throws.

Anastasia Wynn cut the lead to two again, 41-39. Mallory, who finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds, had a 10-foot shot to tie with three seconds left, but it rimmed away.

McDonogh coach Tom Gizzi was frustrated by the loss - the Eagles' third this week to a top five team - but he was pleased they didn't give up when trailing by 13 points.

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