Without leading scorer Beale, Spartans boys surge past Lackey for seventh straight win
Even without its big goto player, the St. Charles boys basketball team found a way to keep on winning on Friday night.
The Spartans were without leading scorer Shiloh Beale, who had to sit out the contest with a face and wrist injury stemming from an awkward fall 48 hours prior in a 43-38 win over host McDonough.
Some big shoes to fill considering the 6-foot-3 senior guard Beale leads the team in three differ- ent categories: points per game (17.9) rebounds per game (5.9) and steals per game (1.7). He also is sec- ond in the team in assists at 2.4 per game.
On senior night, Beale’s fellow seniors took charge to defeat visiting Lackey, 55-41 in a Southern Maryland Athletic Con- ference Potomac Division rematch. Lackey won the first meeting at home 6859 on Jan. 18.
It was the seventh straight win in a row for St. Charles (15-5, 7-3 SMAC Potomac), which is scheduled to take on host Westlake (16-4, 9-1) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Wolverines are currently
atop the division standings with just two regular season games remaining.
“We had a solid game plan and the guys executed it,” St. Charles head coach Brett Campbell said. “Shiloh leads us across the board in statistics and even though he wasn’t on the floor just having him for support gave us a lift because it was senior night. We have guys that can play and they were ready. We did a really good job on the interior.”
St. Charles took a 13-7 lead after the first quar- ter, and took double-digit leads in the second and third quarters, but Lack- ey (15-5, 7-4) was able to cut the deficits to single digits, time.
However, in the fourth quarter with a sound offense and pressure defense, the Spartans outscored the Chargers 15-5, allowing just two field goals during that span en route to the win.
The Spartans were led by senior Merwan Mourtaj with a game-high 16 points. Senior guard Derrick Carter added 14 points, while seniors Cameron Sullivan and Marshawn Hall collected seven each.
“Two years ago we start- ed off [0-12] and now we are one of the top teams in the conference,” Mourtaj said. “We just trusted the process and kept work- ing, so for us to go out and get a win on senior night against a team that already beat us is special for us.”
Leading 24-20 at halftime, St. Charles extended the lead to 40-25 with 2 minutes 55 seconds to force a timeout from Lackey head coach Sean Fox.
“We wanted to get the win for Shiloh because he was out. A lot of people doubted us, so we had to get this one for our brother,” said Sullivan, who had to back-to-back baskets to help spur the team’s third-quarter run.
Following the timeout, Lackey responded with an 11-0 run that was capped by a bank shot off the backboard by sophomore guard Rasheed Cooley to cut the Spar- tans’ lead to 40-36 at the end of the quarter.
“We hadn’t matched their energy up until that point and we did it in spur ts,” Fox said. “Against a good team like that half energy is not going to win the game. We got the shots that we wanted, we just didn’t shoot the ball well. We have to work on that in practice to get out the funk.”
St. Charles opened the fourth with a 5-0 run to push the lead to 45-36, eventually sealing the win.
Lackey, which is scheduled to travel to Calvert for a nondivision contest at 6:30 tonight, had just one player in double figures as senior guard Hakeem Everett finished with 11 points. Twitter: @ajmason301
St. Charles senior forward Merwan Mourtaj goes up for a layup in Friday night’s 55-41 win over visiting Lackey in a SMAC Potomac Division boys basketball game. Mourtaj finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.