St. Frances rolls past Roland Park

Dorsey scores 20 points, Reese adds 19 in con­fer­ence ti­tle game re­match

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Jeff Sei­del

St. Frances girls bas­ket­ball coach Jerome Shel­ton made a re­quest to his team be­fore Mon­day night’s game against vis­it­ing Roland Park. Shel­ton told his Pan­thers that they hadn’t played well in the first half this sea­son, and he wanted to see that change.

The play­ers hon­ored his re­quest. Dai­moni Dorsey scored 20 points and An­gel Reese added 19 as top-ranked St. Frances jumped to a big early lead and rolled to a 79-40 vic­tory over No. 5 Roland Park in an In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion of Mary­land A Con­fer­ence game.

This was a re­match of last year’s con­fer­ence ti­tle game. Roland Park won the A Con­fer­ence reg­u­lar-sea­son ti­tle be­fore St. Frances edged the Reds in the cham­pi­onship game, but the Pan­thers quickly re­moved all doubt Mon­day.

St. Frances (13-1, 5-0) scored the game’s first seven points and raced to a 17-2 lead. The Pan­thers forced nine Roland Park turnovers in the open­ing quar­ter en route to a 22-5 edge.

St. Frances re­mained in con­trol the rest of the way.

“I chal­lenged them to play a bet­ter first half,” Shel­ton said. “The in­ten­sity level was there at both ends … there was ex­cep­tional ball pres­sure.”

The Pan­thers made it very dif­fi­cult for Roland Park (8-6, 3-2) to find any room to shoot. That ball pres­sure was a big rea­son the Reds fin­ished with 26 turnovers and just 13 bas­kets.

Reese helped St. Frances to the big first-quar­ter lead be­fore Dorsey kicked things into an­other level when she came off the bench late in the quar­ter. She drilled five long 3-point­ers in six min­utes, the last of which gave the Pan­thers a 39-14 lead with 2:32 re­main­ing in the first half.

“I was just feel­ing it,” Dorsey said. “My team­mates got me a lot of nice passes, es­pe­cially from An­gel.”

St. Frances held a 44-18 half­time lead and opened things up even more with a 13-point run in the first part of the third quar­ter. The Pan­thers kept up the de­fen­sive pres­sure as some­one al­ways hounded a Roland Park player with the ball, which that threw off the Reds un­til Shel­ton started emp­ty­ing his bench late in the third quar­ter.

“Once we had them, we just had to keep go­ing at them, and we did,” Dorsey said.

Aniya Gour­dine added 12 points for St. Frances, let­ting the Pan­thers fin­ish with three play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures.

Mir McLean led Roland Park with 16 points de­spite sit­ting out a good chunk of the first half af­ter pick­ing up two early fouls. Sophia Diehl added 11 points as the Reds of­fense opened up a bit in the sec­ond half.

The Reds came out a lit­tle flat early and that, com­bined with the tough de­fense St. Frances played, was a big rea­son they were never in this game. Roland Park kept hav­ing prob­lems mov­ing the ball around and find­ing high-per­cent­age shots.

That, com­bined with the turnovers and the way the Pan­thers re­peat­edly drove to the bas­ket or found open 3-point­ers, let the Pan­thers take com­mand and break the game open.

“We weren’t ready to play on the de­fen­sive end and re­bound­ing,” Roland Park coach Dani Stein­bach said. “We just got beat.”

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

St. Frances’ An­gel Reese, left, goes up to shoot against Roland Park’s Mir McLean in the first half on Mon­day night.

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