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McLean, Diehl push No. 3 Roland Park past No. 7 McDonogh, 43-40, in girls basketball

McDonogh at Roland Park Country School girls basketball. Mir McLean of Roland Park was the game's lead scorer. Here, she jumps for the basket as McDonogh's Ava Class guards in the last quarter. December 20, 2019
McDonogh at Roland Park Country School girls basketball. Mir McLean of Roland Park was the game's lead scorer. Here, she jumps for the basket as McDonogh's Ava Class guards in the last quarter. December 20, 2019 (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

On a night when both McDonogh and Roland Park struggled on offense, Mir McLean and Sophia Diehl did just enough to push the host Reds to a victory.

McLean finished with a game-high 25 points and added 12 rebounds while Diehl pitched in with 11 points and 12 rebounds as No. 3 Roland Park edged No. 7 McDonogh, 43-40, in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference matchup Friday night.

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Neither Roland Park (4-2, 2-1 IAAM A) nor McDonogh (4-4, 1-2) could find offensive rhythm in a game that turned out to be a defensive battle, especially in the second half. But the Reds came through with a five-point run late that made the difference.

After Jayla Oden (11 points) of McDonogh sank a 3-pointer that tied the game at 38 with 3:45 left, McLean and Diehl came through. First, McLean gave Roland Park the lead for good on a finger-roll layup 16 seconds after Oden’s 3-pointer.

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The Reds scored just nine points in the fourth quarter and McLean, who is committed to Connecticut, got four of them and had an assist that helped for two more.

“She stepped up,” Roland Park coach Dani Steinbach said. “She can produce in a lot of ways.”

Diehl also produced after the McLean basket. The transfer from Westminster made the last of her three 3-pointers for a 43-38 lead with 1:21 left.

But the Eagles weren’t done. Nekhu Mitchell made a layup to cut the lead to three with just under a minute left. After the Reds turned it over with 28.9 seconds to go, McDonogh got one last chance to tie but missed three long shots.

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McDonogh at Roland Park Country School girls basketball. McDonogh's Makaela Quimby runs toward the basket while being guarded by Roland Park's Mya Fedash in first half acrtion. December 20, 2019
McDonogh at Roland Park Country School girls basketball. McDonogh's Makaela Quimby runs toward the basket while being guarded by Roland Park's Mya Fedash in first half acrtion. December 20, 2019 (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

The Eagles threw a lot of pressure and traps at Roland Park in the second half, and that bothered the Reds at times, but they were able to fight everything off.

“I think we just [stayed] composed mentally and didn’t let them speed us up,” McLean said.

Roland Park also did the same on defense, playing tough and making things difficult for McDonogh with various looks. The Eagles found some shots but it took work.

“We really came together,” Diehl said. “We really did our best. They’re a very fast, aggressive team.”

The Reds appeared as if they were going to run away in the second quarter. That’s when McLean scored 11 straight points and gave Roland Park a 24-12 lead with just under four minutes remaining. She finished the first half with 17 points.

McDonogh, though, scored the final seven points of the second quarter, starting with a three from Makaela Quimby (team-high 13 points). Overall, the Eagles went on a 13-point run and took the lead twice in the third quarter before Roland Park bounced back, thanks mainly to back-to-back 3s from Diehl and Cameron Levine for a 34-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

McDonogh increased its pressure in the fourth quarter and helped force 10 Roland Park turnovers in that period, but the Eagles couldn’t take the lead. However, that strong defense let McDonogh stay close.

“I think our intensity picked up in the second half [on defense],” Oden said. “I think the defensive intensity brought us back.”

M - Mitchell 5, Oden 11, Yarborough 6, Locke 5, Quimby 13. Totals: 17 2-6 40.

R - McLean 25, Simmons 2, Levine 3, Diehl 11, Franks 2. Totals: 15 8-11 43. Halftime: R, 24-19

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