After No. 5 McDonogh rolled past No. 9 Roland Park, 52-38, yesterday in the quarterfinals of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland tournament, the Eagles' post-game celebration was muted because an ankle injury to All-Metro guard Brittany Mallory might force her to miss tomorrow's semifinal matchup against St. Frances.
Mallory appeared to roll her ankle after trying to block a shot with 1:45 left in the first half. The junior writhed in pain on the floor, while McDonogh coach Tom Gizzi and a trainer attended to her. She was taken to the locker room and later emerged with a bag of ice wrapped around the bottom half of her right leg.
Despite Mallory's uncertain status for tomorrow, the rest of her teammates were able to continue to dominate the game. McDonogh (20-7, 15-6) shot 44 percent from the field and never trailed against the host Reds.
"I was proud of my team for stepping up because I went down early," said Mallory, who still managed to score 10 points in the first half. "Everyone played well. I am going to go in [and get therapy] every chance I can, and hopefully be ready for Friday."
McDonogh pressed Roland Park (20-6, 14-6) from the opening tip, and the Reds had trouble making shots even when they managed to set their offense. The Eagles grabbed their biggest lead, 32-11, with 5:08 left in the third quarter as turnovers and missed shots kept the Reds from closing the gap.
Gizzi was happy with the way his team responded when Mallory went down and is hopeful the Eagles can continue their run through the playoffs even if she is not ready for the semifinals.
"When one of your main players goes down in the first half and the other girls on the floor, especially the seniors - Anastasia Wynn, Stephanie Kunkel and Samantha Frost - learn how to step up, it is great for our team," Gizzi said. "That probably was just as meaningful for McDonogh girls basketball as the win itself."
Frost finished the game with a team-high 12 points and seven rebounds, while Wynn scored 10 points and had three steals.
Roland Park coach Scott Buckley said his team did not shoot the ball well enough to win the game as the Reds were just 14-for-47 from the field. Senior forward Barbara Seaman had a game-high 13 points for the Reds and fellow senior Megan Pendleton had 11.
"I think we had that edge where we were just trying a little too hard," Buckley said. "I am a little disappointed because I thought we had enough to maybe make a run to the finals, but McDonogh played great today."