Boys’ Latin’s defense stifles Glenelg Country
In a matchup between two Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference programs riding four-game winning streaks and looking for a little early control of the Black Division, Boys’ Latin used its defense to get the job done.
The Lakers used a big third-quarter push to pull away Monday evening, holding host Glenelg Country to its lowest offensive total of the season in a 55-40 victory.
“I told the kids just now, that was by far our best defensive effort of the year,” Boys’ Latin coach Cliff Rees said. “And tonight, coming in at halftime with the score close, the first thing we talked about was keeping up our defensive intensity. We felt offensively, with a little bit better execution and decision-making, we would eventually find a rhythm. The key then was to just keep playing that same kind of defense until our shots began to fall.”
Boys’ Latin (5-2, 8-6) didn’t have to wait long after intermission for the offense to finally start clicking. After leading by just one point, 22-21, at the half, the Lakers put together an 11-2 run over the first four minutes of the third quarter to open up the team’s first double-digit lead of the night.
Lorenzo Donadio (17 points) and Riar Schell (10) each hit big threes during the run immediately after halftime. Then in the fourth quarter, Kendall Walker scored nine of his 11 points to help Boys’ Latin pull away for good.
“The key to the second half was sharing the ball. Making cuts, getting open and passing to get open shots was the biggest difference I thought [from the first half ],” Donadio said.
Glenelg Country (7-3, 10-5), which had scored at least 50 points in each of its previous 14 games this winter, was led offensively by Jordan Brathwaite (13 points) and Igor Yoka-Bratasz (10).
After those opening minutes of the third quarter that extended the Boys’ Latin lead, the Dragons never managed to get any closer than eight points.
“Boys’ Latin always does a great job and they are so well coached, so when shots aren’t falling it can get away from you quickly,” Glenelg Country coach Garrett O’Donnell said. “Weprobably didn’t react to missing shots as well as we should have, our defense let up a little and then it dominoes from there. Credit to BL, though, they took us out of what we like to do.”
Park 61, Key 49: When a leak sprung, Key rushed to plug it up. For a while, it worked.
Then, the boat filled with too much water, and went down.
Unable to make a basket for more than half of the fourth quarter, Park was able to run away with a double-digit lead to hand the Obezags their first conference loss, 61-49.
Key senior Augie Irving had been adept in the art of patching up holes throughout the game, following up a 34-point frenzy against Jemicy the week before with 24 points against a stingy Bruins (5-4) squad. But until Irving came crashing against the glass and wrestle in a layup away from six Park arms, he, too, lost his spark in the fourth.
“They didn’t have the energy to go, honestly. I kept trying to tell them to push the intensity. It just seemed like we weren’t quite there,” Key coach Brent Coleman said. “When they did put pressure on them like I was asking them to, they turned the ball over. If they didn’t turn the ball over, they almost turned the ball over. But that’s only a few times they actually did it.”
“You want to get those free easy shots,” Jackson said. “I have to practice my free throws a lot. My first few years of high school were rough, so I practiced my free throws a lot this past summer.”
Jackson, who helped lead the Hawks to the Class 2A state championship last season, is leading River Hill this season with 15 points per game. Aiding her scoring pace is her ability to grab tough rebounds, score down low in several different ways and get to the free-throw line. Eight of her points from the charity stripe came in the second and third quarters as the Hawks extended and maintained their double-digit lead.
“That’s a big part of her game,” said River Hill head coach Teresa Waters. “That’s an area we’ve been focusing on. We want her to concentrate and finish on free throws. She’s being double- and triple-teamed in the paint, and we want her to get to the free-throw line as often as possible.”
The Hawks also employed a combination of a fast press defense and an aggressive half-court defense that forced 20 turnovers.
Anhyia Smith led River Hill (10-3) in the first half. The sophomore guard scored five points in the first quarter and seven in the second. The Hawks led 14-3 early in the first period, but Arundel (8-3) finished the quarter on a 7-0 run. River Hill then turned up the intensity on defense in the second quarter to outscore the Wildcats 12-5 in the period.
The Wildcats offense was paced by Heather Middleton and Brandy Middleton, who scored 10 and seven points, respectively.
Arundel is back in action Tuesday at home against North County, while River Hill hosts Centennial on Wednesday.
McDonogh wins Virginia Duals: McDonogh has been going to the Virginia Duals — which features some of the best teams from all over the country — in Hampton, Virginia for eight years and has never come home victorious.
Until this weekend.
The Eagles finally broke through on Jan. 11 and won the prestigious event by defeating St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.), 48-19, Smyrna (De.), 48-22, Nazareth (Pa.), 35-30, and Erie Cathedral Prep (Pa.), 40-30, to finish the weekend 4-0 and remain undefeated on the season.
“We always seem to have some great matches down there against national competition but never seem to get the whole things done,” McDonogh coach Pete Welch said. “… Every match was against pretty tough competition, and our kids wrestled really, really well.”
The key dual came against Nazareth in the semifinals. Nazereth, who was ranked 33rd in the country by InterMat, took an early 9-0 lead and kept an additional bonus point when McDonogh’s Cooper Flynn settled for a technical fall at 120 pounds.
“But then we got on a roll with our middleweights,” Welch said. “They’re just tough there with Cooper, Richard (Fedalen), Clayton (Gabrielson) and Matt Lawrence had a tight win for us, so that put us back in the match.”
The Eagles won four straight matches to take a 17-9 advantage before Nazareth answered again and won by fall at 145, 152 and 170 pounds to reclaim a 10-point advantage with three matches to go.
The pressure was on when three-sport athlete and Navy lacrosse commit Jackson Bonitz came to the mat at 195 pounds, and the senior delivered.
“Jackson was in a tight match but pins the kid (Sonny Sasso) with about 20 seconds left in the match,” Welch said. “It kind of boosted us up.”
Two of McDonogh’s best — Jackson Wimmer (220) and Garrett Kappes (285) — did their job to solidify the win. Wimmer took down Stephen Schott, a Beast of the East placer, in overtime to win 3-1, and Kappes closed it out with a 28-second pin.
McDonogh improved to 13-0 on the year and faced Curley on Wednesday.
Boys’ Latin’s Adam Navarre drives the lane against Glenelg Country School’s Sam Ejindu in the first half. Glenelg Country School lost 55-40 to visiting Boy’s Latin on Monday night in Ellicott City.