McDonogh girls basketball team believed individual play was the difference in its loss to St. Frances a few weeks ago. In the rematch Monday evening, the Eagles showed why they’re defending IAAM A Conference champions.
No. 3 McDonogh defeated the second-ranked Panthers, 59-48, in East Baltimore. Wake Forest University-bound guard Makayla Quimby scored 18 points for the Eagles (18-2 overall, 9-1 IAAM A), and Autumn Fleary added 11 points.
McDonogh opened a double-digit advantage in the second quarter and answered every St. Frances push to move into position for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming IAAM A postseason. Senior Paris Locke, who will play for North Carolina A&T next season, added 10 points and six rebounds.
Quimby said the Eagles wanted redemption after a 56-49 loss to Panthers on their home court, Jan. 13.
“Losing our last game by six points really marinated with me for a couple of weeks. We knew we had to pick up the energy and use each other as a team,” said Quimby. “It was about taking our time, playing to our strengths. The last game we were forcing individual stuff.”
The Eagles never trailed Monday after Quimby drained a 3-pointer in the final minute of the first quarter to start a 10-0 surge for a 20-10 advantage. After her teammates kept after the ball following a miss, Quimby hit another 3-pointer, then followed with an assist on Ava McKennie’s 3-pointer, giving McDonogh a 38-24 advantage with 2 minutes, 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“What like about Mak now she came out and missed a couple of threes, but then she attacked the basket, couple of easy drives and that opened up her threes,” said McDonogh coach Brad Rees.
St. Frances closed to 42-38 on Monet Edwards’ basket with 6:14 left in regulation, but Quimby answered with her fifth 3-pointer of the evening. Locke dropped the last of the Eagles’ eight 3-pointers for a 54-42 midway in the fourth.
Rees said McDonogh did a better job spreading the floor and rebounding compared to the first match with St. Frances.
However, it was far from perfect in the eyes of the longtime Eagles coach.
“I didn’t think we played the smartest basketball down the stretch. We came out of the second straight with six or seven empty possessions,” said Rees. “We got out of sync…we got some composure issues to work on.”
Delaware recruit And’ea Cherisier finished with 12 points and freshman Zoe Osby added 10 for St. Frances (17-3, 8-1 IAAM A), which had an opportunity to secure the postseason top-seed with a victory.
But McDonogh had other ideas.
“They doubled our effort tonight and you saw it a lot on the defensive end on the floor in terms of rebounding,” said Panthers coach Jerome Shelton. “They finished with the ball and made open shots to capitalize on that defensive effort unlike the first game.”
The Eagles, who played their final road match of the season Monday, have the tiebreaker over St. Frances based on overall point differential in the two meetings. McDonogh has Mercy and Roland Park Country School remaining in league play.
“We were very disappointed after losing on our home court. The kids were looking forward to this one,” said Rees. “At this point, these are games you got to win.”
NO. 3 MCDONOGH 59, NO. 2 ST. FRANCES 48
McDonogh - Quimby 18, Fleary 11, Locke 10, McKennie 8, Umeh 5, Jenkins 4, Benjamin 3. Totals 18 15-19 59.
St. Frances - Cherisier 12, Osby 10, Edwards 9, Hicks 6, Dorsey 5, Suggs 3, Sutton 3. Totals 16 13-19 48.
McDonogh 13 15 10 21 - 59
St. Frances 10 8 13 17 - 48