Basketball Game of the Week: No. 1 St. Frances girls vs. No. 2 McDonogh

No. 2 McDonogh (13-1, 4-0 IAAM A Conference) at No. 1 St. Frances (10-4, 2-0)

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Coaches: Brad Rees, McDonogh; Jerome Shelton, St. Frances

KEY PLAYERS

McDonogh: Taleah Dixon, Sr., G; Kayla Liles, Sr., G; Aleah Nelson, Jr., G

St. Frances: Nia Clouden, Sr., G; Angel Reese, Soph., F; Savawn Hughes, Jr., G

KEYS TO VICTORY

Over the past two years, St. Frances won all six Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference games against the Eagles, including both conference championships. McDonogh beat the Panthers in the Bishop Walsh Tournament in 2016, St. Frances’ only loss to an A Conference opponent since 2015. All four of the Eagles’ losses last season were to the Panthers, including one in the Bishop Walsh title game. McDonogh has won 13 straight games and is ranked No. 20 nationally in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25, while St. Frances has lost only to teams from out of the area, all ranked in the top 17 of the Xcellent 25. Both teams are deep at guard with Clouden, Liles and Dixon having been All-Metro selections in the past, but the key likely will be whether the Eagles can keep 6-foot-3 All-Metro forward Reese off the boards. Dixon, 5-9, performed well against three players over 6-feet last week, stepping in for McDonogh’s only post player, AJ Davis, who suffered a torn ACL earlier in the season. With that abundance of guards, both teams look for an up-tempo game with high-pressure defense that sparks their offense.

OTHER GAMES TO WATCH

Girls

Manchester Valley at Westminster, Friday, 7 p.m.

No. 3 Roland Park vs. No. 5 Western at McDonogh, Saturday, 2 p.m.

No. 7 Howard vs. No. 9 John Carroll at McDonogh, Saturday, 5 p.m.

No. 4 Long Reach at No. 2 McDonogh, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

No. 11 South River at No. 8 Old Mill, Tuesday, 5 p.m.

Boys

No. 2 Poly at Lake Clifton, Friday, 5:15 p.m.

No. 4 Mount Saint Joseph at No. 8 McDonogh, Friday, 7 p.m.

Severn at Indian Creek, Tuesday, 5:30 p.m.

No. 11 Perry Hall at No. 8 Woodlawn, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

twitter.com/kdunnsun

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