Rams rally comes up short ver­sus Raiders

Boys lose 11th straight

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

En­ter­ing Mon­day night’s South­ern Mar yland Ath­letic Con­fer­ence non­di­vi­sion con­test at McDonough, the Leonard­town boys bas­ket­ball looked to get into its half­court set on of­fense which it has strug­gled with the last few games.

The Raiders ef­fec­tively scored in­side and used timely shoot­ing ver­sus the McDonough zone de­fense to take a com­mand­ing 26-11 halftime lead.

Trail­ing by dou­ble dig­its for most of the third quar ter, McDonough stormed all the way back to cut the deficit to six points by the end of the third at 30-24 and three in the fourth, but the Raiders held on for the 44-37 even­tual vic­tory.

The win for Leonard­town (4-12 over­all) snapped a two-game los­ing skid to start the month of Fe­bru­ary. The Raiders also swept the sea­son se­ries with

McDonough, tak­ing the first meet­ing on Dec. 12 at home 73-59. Leonard­town takes on host Chop­ti­con in a SMAC Chesa- peake Di­vi­sion con­test at 6:30 tonight.

“We started run­ning our sets early and fo­cused on get­ting the third and fourth pass in our of­fense and things opened up for us tonight,” Leonard­town head coach Dave Hol­land said. “We got out to a big lead in the first half, but in the third quar­ter we be­came stag­nant and did not get into an of­fen­sive flow. In the fourth, we forced a cou­ple turnovers and scored in tran­si­tion a lit­tle bit and that helped us.”

The Rams (3-16) did not go away, com­ing to within three points three dif­fer- ent times in the fourth, but did not get any closer for the rest of the game. Leonard­town pushed a 3532 lead to 42-33 with less than a minute re­main­ing in the game to help seal the win.

“In the sec­ond half we were a much dif­fer­ent team. We got the ball into the post area and in the mid­dle of the zone in- stead of set­tling for long shots,” said McDonough head coach Dave Rooney, whose team is on an 11game los­ing streak.

Leonard­town set the tone in the first quar­ter, jump­ing out to a 12-2 lead in the first six min­utes of the game and was on top 15-6 by the end of the quar­ter.

Se­nior guard JD Gad­dis, who led all scor­ers with 16 points, scored 10 points in the first to spark Leonard­town. Se­nior guard Ad­lai Traver fin­ished with 12 points, while se­nior for- ward Stephan Petett add- ed 11.

“We knew McDonough was miss­ing a cou­ple of guys, but it was a big win and this gives us some mo­men­tum hope­fully with four more reg­u­lar sea­son games left,” Gad­dis said. “We are try­ing to pre­pare for the play­offs. We per­se­vered tonight when McDonough came back and played to­gether and made free throws at the end. Our long range shots were fall­ing early and the first half we got off to a great start.”

Se­nior for­ward Jared Ban­kett and sopho­more guard Amareay Wal­ters each scored nine points each to lead McDonough and Cortlend Davis added eight.

“We just weren’t the same team that has been scrap­ping through the [Charles] county sched­ule,” said Rooney, re­fer­ring to sev­eral close out­comes ver­sus county op­po­nents, in­clud­ing a 56-53 loss to La Plata on Feb. 1

The Rams are sched­uled to host St. Charles at 6:30 tonight in a di­vi­sion matchup.

McDonough’s Amareay Wal­ters glides through the air on the lay-up as Leonard­town’s Chris Fen­wick chal­lenges the shot at­tempt in Mon­day night’s SMAC non­di­vi­sion boys bas­ket­ball con­test. Leonard­town won the game 44-37. PHOTO BY WAL­LACE BAR­RON

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