If practice makes perfect, then No. 2 McDonogh and No. 3 Roland Park need to get back in their home gyms as soon as possible after a game Wednesday night that both coaches described as ugly.
The host Eagles prevailed, 48-41, in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game in Owings Mills.
The sloppy play probably can be attributed to neither team having practiced since Saturday.
Roland Park (1-1) committed 22 turnovers and shot 30 percent (13-for-44) from the field.
McDonogh (3-0) led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, but struggled down the stretch and allowed the Reds to cut the lead to four points in the final minute.
“I wasn’t real happy with our overall performance,” McDonogh coach Brad Rees said. “And especially with our composure down the stretch. Not having practiced in four days, I thought our conditioning hurt us. People weren’t where they were supposed to be. That led to some foul trouble.”
The Eagles were sharp early when they jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first three minutes and 32 seconds3:32.
But 5-foot-11 senior forward Tatyana Carter (12 rebounds) sparked Roland Park off the bench, helping the Reds endended the quarter with an 11-3 run when she scored six points and had four rebounds during that stretch.
McDonogh pulled away in the second quarter when the Reds suffered through a long scoring drought. The Eagles opened the period on a 13-0 run and led 31-18 at halftime.
Roland Park’s second-quarter drought forced coach Scott Buckley to call called two time outs in a span of one minute and 16 seconds1:16.
“We started out playing pretty well I thought, but then we struggled to get into our offense,” Buckley said. “I think that wore us down and we let things get away from us.”
The play of McDonogh 6-foot-2 junior forward Jameira Johnson helped her team build a double-digit lead. She had five of her six blocks in the first half and finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
“Defensively, Johnson was a beast and a game-changer,” Rees said. “Her presence made a huge difference.”
McDonogh led by double digits for the first 12 minutes of the second half. But aAfter Brianna Jacobs’ layup with four minutes remaining made it 41-29, the Eagles didn’t score again until Lilli Robb sank a free throw three minutes and 46 seconds3:46 later.
Roland Park cut the margin to six points twice in the final two minutes and to four with 15.8 seconds left on a pair of Lindsey Edwards free throws.
Junior Michala Clay led Roland Park with 10 points and chipped in six rebounds. Edwards had nine points.
“We could have won tonight’s game if we had played better early,” Buckley said.
McDonogh junior guard Danielle Edwards scored a game-high 11 points, and teammate Dajah Logan had 10 points and Maya Wynn added nine.