Before last night's game at McDonogh, Roland Park coach Scott Buckley said that even though his team had won its first five games handily, the Reds might not be ready for the No. 6-ranked Eagles.
Buckley was right.
Although the Reds took a couple of early leads and stayed close well into the second quarter, McDonogh's blistering defense and a double-edged offense eventually took its toll. The host Eagles ran away with the second half en route to a 64-37 victory in an Assocation of Independent Schools A Division non-league game.
"They just wore us down," said Buckley, who has seven sophomores and three freshmen on his 11-girl roster. "And we let a couple of mistakes get us down. Instead of focusing, we couldn't get past those mistakes. But we're young and we're going in the right direction."
The Reds (5-1) jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but the Eagles (3-1) erased that quickly with seven unanswered points -- four from Vicki Brick and a three-point play by Shani Moore. Those two Eagles continued to give the Reds trouble all night.
Brick, a 5-6 All-Metro guard, penetrated and also hit from the outside for 23 points to go with four steals and four assists. Moore, a 5-11 center, added 12 points and 15 rebounds.
"We knew their basic weakness was inside," said Moore, "so we just kept on trying to take it to the inside."
The defending AIS A Division champs started to break away for good midway through the second quarter.
After Betsy Gaines' layup gave the Reds a 12-11 edge, Brick, Moore, Mary Urban and Rachel Engle all scored in an eight-point run. That put the Eagles up 19-12 with 3: 14 to go until halftime.
By the half, the Eagles' lead had extended to 27-18. In the third quarter, it built to as many as 17 points and Roland Park could not slow the Eagles in the fourth quarter either.
Reds guard Meghan Kelly said she would have preferred to meet the Eagles later in the season.
"It would have been better if we had had some tougher games before this. This is the best team we have to beat, and we needed better preparation," said Kelly, who plays with Brick and Gaines on the Maryland Tornadoes, an Amateur Athletic Union team.
McDonogh already has seen some stiff competition, including Friday night's 54-45 loss to No. 2 Seton Keough, a setback that provided added incentive yesterday.
"We were really disappointed in the Seton Keough game," said Moore, "so we put all our hearts into this one to show everybody we could bounce back. And we knew this might be a preview of what's going to come up when we get to the AIS Tournament."
Pub Date: 12/18/96