Boys’ Latin’s de­fense sti­fles Glenelg Coun­try

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY -

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.

Wrestling

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.

DOUG KAPUSTIN/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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.

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