McDonogh's boys basketball team might have its ups and downs this season because of its youth, but the Eagles demonstrated their potential on Friday night.
After shooting 37 percent from the field in a season-opening, 13-point loss to Boys' Latin, the Eagles rebounded to hit a sizzling 74 percent Friday as they cruised to a 74-59 victory over Archbishop Curley in Owings Mills.
McDonogh coach Donta Evans starts a freshman, two sophomores and two juniors. He hopes the Eagles can become more consistent when they open Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play Monday against visiting Gilman Monday at 6 p.m.
McDonogh's first two games came against B Conference foes.
"We have a really young team, so I know we are going to struggle offensively," said Evans, whose team made 25 of 36 shots against Curley. "We are going to have some growing pains, but the sooner we can get that under control the better off we are going to be. This young group just has to get better every single day."
Forward Evan Fisher powered McDonogh past Curley. The 6-foot-8 junior had 15 points on 6-for-6 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Forward Bruce Moore (12 points, 6 rebounds), point guard Damian Chong-Qui (11 points), shooting guard Kareem Montgomery (8 points, 9 rebounds) and forward Robby Black (9 points) also played well.
Senior forward Haywood Highsmith (23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists) and junior guard Marty Costes (14 points, 4 rebounds) led the Friars.
Although the final score didn't indicate it, McDonogh started slowly against Curley (1-1).
The Eagles committed five turnovers in the first six minutes as the Friars took a 13-7 lead.
Curley still held a six-point advantage, 17-11, at the end of the first quarter, but McDonogh took the lead for good in the second quarter behind a 13-3 run in the first 4:35.
Black had six points during that stretch.
McDonogh pushed the margin to 33-23 by halftime and led by as many as 17 points in the final quarter before Curley cut the gap to 64-55 with 2:23 remaining on a pair of Highsmith free throws.
McDonogh used an 8-1 run over the next 1:23 to pull away.
"We did a bad job defensively during their runs," Curley coach Brian Hubbard said. "We kind of let them push us around, and they didn't miss a lot of shots."