No. 5 McDonogh edges No. 4 Seton Keough, 54-50

February 09, 2011|By Jeff Seidel, Special to The Baltimore Sun

McDonogh guard Taylor Cummings missed a good part of the first half of Wednesday night's game after rolling her ankle. She returned in the second half and inflicted a different type of pain on visiting Seton Keough.

Cummings made two free throws with 11.9 seconds left to give No. 5 McDonogh the lead for good as the Eagles scored the game's final six points in a 54-50 victory over No. 4 Seton Keough in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference regular-season finale.

The victory pulled McDonogh (19-6 overall) into a tie for second place in the conference with Seton Keough (17-7). Both teams finished 10-4, but McDonogh gets the No. 2 seed for the upcoming conference tournament because the Eagles won a coin flip earlier this week. If both teams win their first-round games Tuesday, they'll meet again in the semifinals next Thursday — back at McDonogh.

"This was huge for us," McDonogh coach Brad Rees said.

Cummings' free throws rescued the Eagles after they couldn't hold a 10-point second-half lead. Candice Hendricks (18 points) scored 11 in the second quarter to give McDonogh a spark as the Eagles took the lead late in the period and stretched it in the second half.

McDonogh had a 41-31 lead late in the third quarter before Seton Keough slowly began to rally. Liz Brown scored 11 of her game-high 21 points in the final nine minutes, and the 6-foot-4 center's lay-up with one minute left gave the Gators a 50-48 lead.

The Eagles struggled on offense after Hendricks fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, but they came through at the end. Taryn Durant (11 points) tied the game with two free throws with 50.6 seconds left.

After Seton Keough missed a shot, the Eagles got the rebound and Cummings was fouled while dribbling with 11.9 seconds left.

"My heart has never been beating so fast in my life," she said. "I tried to think about something else, but it didn't work."

Cummings (four points) sank both free throws for a 52-50 lead. The Gators got the ball over the mid-court line and called timeout with 7.8 seconds left but couldn't get the ball inbounds when play resumed. They quickly fouled Tiersa Winder (15 points), who made two free throws with 5.3 seconds left.

McDonogh hung on despite not making a basket in the final 5:01. The Eagles also had three turnovers in that stretch but played tough defense, making Seton Keough work for everything during its comeback — and throughout the game.

"I think our defense kind of set the tone again," said Rees. "That's how we win games, with our defense."

Rianna Frazer (11 points) was the only other Gator to score in double figures. Seton Keough missed on a number of close shots and couldn't keep the smaller Eagles away from the basket when they had the ball, especially in the first half.

"We had a lot of chances for put-backs," Seton Keough coach Jackie Boswell said. "And we gave them a lot of put-backs."

McDonogh 54, Seton Keough 50

S-Frazer 11, Wilson 6, Singletary 2, Hines 2, Ade 8, Brown 21. Totals: 18 12-20 50.

M- Durant 11, Cummings 4, Jacobs 4, Winder 15, Wynn 2. Hendricks 18. Totals: 17 17-24 54. Half: M, 26-21.

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