No. 6 Calvert Hall put its emphasis on defense in Monday's practice and then reaped the rewards against rival Loyola last night.
The Cardinals held No. 8 Loyola without a field goal for a stretch of 13 minutes and 33 seconds, mostly in the second half, and topped the Dons, 53-44, to take over second place in the Catholic league and first place in the MIAA from the Dons.
The Cardinals are 21-7 overall, 7-3 in the Catholic League and 9-1 in the MIAA. The loss dropped Loyola to 19-6, 5-3 in the Catholic League and 8-2 in the MIAA.
"I think we played outstanding team defense and this was the night to do it with Juan [Dixon] on the bench with foul trouble," said Cardinals coach Mark Amatucci.
"We've seen Loyola three or four times and we know they have some pure shooters, so we really worked in practice on taking spots on the floor away from them."
Trailing 27-22 at the half Loyola coach Jerry Savage hoped to get some early points with possession of the ball in the third quarter. But the stingy Cardinal defense wouldn't allow it.
Guard Aaron Herbert, who led the Cardinals with 13 points and did a superb defensive job on Loyola point guard Jason Vogtman, spoiled the first Don possession with a steal and fast-break layup and that was just the beginning.
It eventually took the Dons just under seven minutes to score their first second-half points on two Vogtman free throws, to cut the lead to 34-24.
"We had some good looks in the first half on offense but we just didn't make them," said Savage. "We wanted to work hard and cut into their lead at the beginning of the second half but we come out and go 13 minutes without scoring and there's no way you can win doing that."