St. Timothy’s guards Aryss Macktoon and Karmen McDuffie combined for 29 points and led a stellar team effort to beat Concordia Prep, 53-43, Tuesday and solidify St. Timothy’s hold on second place in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference with only a week left in the regular season.
With wins over the other contenders for the second seed — Concordia, Gerstell and Notre Dame Prep — No. 10 St. Timothy’s (12-3) is 10-1 in the conference while the other three have at least two losses each. No. 9 St. Mary’s (21-0), which beat St. Timothy’s 62-52 two weeks ago, is 12-0 in the conference and has the top seed all but sewn up.
“It’s a big win,” Macktoon said of the victory over Concordia, “because it secured our spot to have the rematch with St. Mary’s in the championship.”
The visiting Saints (17-5, 9-3) lost their third straight B Conference game after dropping contests last week to St. Mary’s and Gerstell. Gerstell and Notre Dame Prep each have two losses in the conference.
Tuesday night, St. Timothy’s took control from the middle of the first quarter on. Trailing, 7-5, after Alira Penn’s 3-pointer for the Saints (17-5, 9-3). St. Timothy’s showed off their quickness, forcing four turnovers, and their team approach in a 13-3 run to finish the quarter. Four of their last five baskets were assisted.
“Today was a good team game,” said Macktoon after St. Tim’s had 12 assists on 19 baskets. “Everybody saw the extra pass which helped Kira (Upton) get some 3′s, helped the bigs get some looks down below and helped other people get shots. We moved the ball really well which helped us move faster and look for the better shot and it kind of broke down their defense.”
Macktoon had two of her seven steals in the breakaway run. The senior headed for LaSalle, also finished with 13 points, five assists and two blocks. McDuffie, a freshman, scored 16 and had seven rebounds, three assists and a steal.
The duo led a strong defensive effort as well as St. Tim’s used primarily man-to-man and a 1-2-2 pressure defense to force 27 turnovers.
“We can’t have that many turnovers in the course of a game,” Concordia coach John Cooney said. “That’s way too many, especially from some seniors who don’t normally commit those types of turnovers. We’ve gone through a tough three games here and we’re kind of worn down, a little tired. Too many turnovers to beat a team like that.”
St. Tim’s ran the lead to 15 points midway through the third quarter. Macktoon’s steal sparked a 6-0 spurt that boosted the lead to 38-23.
She fed Mariah Hardy, who finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, but Hardy was fouled going to the hoop. She hit both free throws. Then Khaya Carter made two power moves to score the next two baskets, the second on a feed from Kyla Stack.
After Kaitlyn Osbourn’s short jumper for the Saints, McDuffie capped a three-point play and then stole the ball and converted the layup to give St. Tim’s their biggest lead of the game, 43-25.
The Saints, led by 17 points and nine rebounds from Albany-bound senior center Hailee Ford, used an 11-2 run to trim the lead to nine with three minutes left in the game but could get no closer.
St. Tim’s coach Vernon Harris said he was pleased with his team’s defensive effort and their ability to turn that defense into offense, a big part of their game plan.
“I thought that was a big win just to be in second place by ourselves,” Harris said. “That’s what I was more excited about. Even though the victory was good, now for the girls, a lot of pressure’s off of them and they say, ‘Okay, let’s go one game at a time. We’ve played most of the toughest teams already.’”
NO. 10 ST. TIMOTHY’S 53, CONCORDIA PREP 43
Concordia 10 9 8 16 — 43
St. Tim’s 18 10 17 8 — 53
Concordia —Alira Penn 5, Kamryn Callahan 9, Kaitlyn Osbourn 7, Cori Barnes 3, Corey Bradley 2, Hailee Ford 17. Totals: 17 7-12 43
St. Tim’s —Khaya Carter 6, Mariah Hardy 4, Aryss Macktoon 13, Karmen McDuffie 16, Kyla Stack 6, Kira Upton 6. Totals: 19 12-18 53