McDonogh freshman Danielle Edwards might be young, but she is certainly ready for prime time.
Edwards, a long-distance-shooting point guard, scored 20 points to fuel a 56-39 victory over No. 3 Archbishop Spalding on Wednesday night — the first win over the defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion for any of the players on the No. 4 Eagles' roster.
In addition to hitting four of the Eagles' nine 3-pointers, Edwards fit perfectly into a swarming defense that gave the host Cavaliers fits, especially as McDonogh turned a two-point game into a runaway in the final 12 minutes.
"We play help defense very well," Edwards said, "That's what the coaches stress in practice, and then our ball pressure and just a lot of talking helps us know where each other are so we have each other's backs."
The Eagles (6-1 overall, 3-0 conference) forced most of Spalding's 22 turnovers and seemed to baffle the Cavaliers with their man-to-man defense and ball pressure.
"They didn't do anything we haven't seen. We just weren't patient," Cavaliers coach Linda Dorsey said. "We kind of went into a panic mode. It became one-on-one vs. us running our sets, being patient and playing our game. So we played into their hands, but I take nothing from them. They played a great game. They were ready for us."
The Cavaliers (3-3, 2-1) rallied from nine points down in the first quarter to lead 20-18. In the second half, Aleah Epps' 3-pointer gave Spalding a 27-25 lead, but Edwards hit two free throws to tie, then converted a layup for a 30-27 lead. That sparked a 24-6 Eagles run capped by six straight points from Edwards to boost the Eagles' lead to 49-33 with 5:40 to go.
"This is a big win for us," Eagles senior Tiersa Winder said. "It's great and it helps us with our confidence, but we know it's just the beginning and we have to keep putting in the work to continue to win."
The Cavaliers were without head coach William "Bookie" Rosemond, who was suspended by the IAAM for the first seven conference games for breaking a league rule by using Spalding jerseys in a summer tournament.
Rosemond, who was not at the game, had no comment on the suspension. Dorsey will continue to act as coach through the next four league games although Rosemond can coach in holiday tournaments.
M—Rees 9, Edwards 20, Cummings 8, Winder 8, Jacobs 5, Wynn 6. Totals 17 13-21 56.
AS—Sciafe 8, Chestnut 7, Epps 7, Makins 7, Calhoun 10. Totals 16 5-7 39.
Half: M, 25-24.