Calvert Hall showed visiting McDonogh that sometimes the best offense is a good defense. And a dose of Reggie Bryant doesn't hurt either.
The host Cardinals used an aggressive defense to force 20 turnovers and disrupt the Eagles' offense, and Bryant scored a game-high 30 points to help No. 8 Calvert Hall defeat No. 19 vTC McDonogh, 79-61, last night.
Calvert Hall (6-0) gave McDonogh (4-1) trouble all over the court with its suffocating defense. The Cardinals were tough in half-court situations, often overplaying and cutting off the passing lanes. The Eagles rarely got shots off without hands being in their faces.
Calvert Hall really gave McDonogh fits with its full-court presses. The Cardinals threw some different looks at the Eagles and made several steals off inbounds passes that they turned into easy points.
Calvert Hall didn't press the whole game but only at certain times. When the Cardinals began trapping more out of the press in the second half, the turnovers and points added up quickly.
"I thought that our presses wore them down," Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci said. "That's Calvert Hall basketball. We're going to play you baseline to baseline for 32 minutes."
McDonogh coach Matt MacMullan said his team wasn't surprised by the presses, especially the traps, but getting the ball out of the backcourt became a struggle at times.
"We didn't handle the ball well," MacMullan said. "They used a couple of different types of presses, and we had to react to it quicker."
The Eagles also had to deal with Bryant. The 6-foot-3 junior guard scored from several different spots and hit 12 of 13 from the free-throw line. He came up big in the fourth quarter, scoring 11.
Bryant hit a three-pointer and two free throws on back-to-back possessions early in the fourth quarter for five points just 17 seconds apart. He then made four free throws at one time, stretching the Calvert Hall lead to 12. McDonogh could not draw closer.
"We just try to get out in the passing lanes and deflect the ball," Bryant said. "We're very quick and small, and we like to run a lot."
The Cardinals scored 34 points in the fourth quarter as both teams increased the tempo. Calvert Hall made 9 of 13 from the field in the final quarter -- and 11 of 14 free throws.
Jared Woodley ran Calvert Hall's offense well at the point. He scored 15. Del Randall and Fred Biggs scored 11 apiece for the winners.
David Lunn carried McDonogh in the fourth quarter. After missing most of the second quarter with foul trouble, Lunn scored 13 of his team-high 20 in the final eight minutes.
MacMullan said while losing is never much fun, this proved to be a good game for his inexperienced players.
"Sometimes learning can be painful," he said with a smile. "It was a great learning experience [because] they're a very good team."
Pub Date: 12/17/97