St. Frances girls basketball star Angel Reese had something to celebrate at the start and end of Friday night’s home game against McDonogh.
The All-Metro junior forward was recognized for recording her 1,000th career point and 1,000th career rebound — both achievements accomplished in road wins earlier in the week — and then added to the totals with a 23-point, 13-rebound effort to help the No. 1 Panthers shake the No. 3 Eagles, 51-41.
St. Frances, which has beaten McDonogh in the past three Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship games, improved to 11-1 overall and 5-0 in league play, while McDonogh is now 12-3 and 4-2.
In a game of runs, the home team had the bigger ones with sophomore forward Anani Humphrey helping out Reese with a 12-point, 10-rebound performance of her own. Leading 27-19 at the half, the Panthers’ talk at the break focused on other players taking advantage of the extra attention on Reese.
Humphrey obliged with the first three baskets in the third quarter to help the Panthers build a 38-21 lead that would hold despite a formidable comback bid from the Eagles. The team effort was what Reese enjoyed the most.
“This was a team win,” she said. “They’ve played me for three years and they know exactly what I can do. So tonight was about what other players can do. When they double me, it’s like: ‘OK, who’s open? Who can knock down a shot?’ That’s what happened in this game.”
After two free throws from Khalia Turner gave the Panthers their biggest lead at 38-21 midway through the third quarter, the Eagles made their pitch to get back in the game with a 9-0 run that featured two jumpers from Aleah Nelson (team-high 16 points) and some pestering defense.
From there, the Eagles had four costly turnovers in a bid to get closer before Humphrey scored on a putback with 28 seconds left in the quarter to end the Panthers’ drought and extend the lead at 40-30 going into the fourth quarter.
“We lacked some composure, made some bad mental mistakes and had a real bad stretch in the beginning of the third quarter, so we were digging out the entire second half and it kind of killed us,” McDonogh coach Brad Rees said. “We had the four turnovers down eight, get one or two of those. … But against a team that good, you can’t let yourself have a stretch like we had and get down by that much.”
Weather permitting, the teams return to the court Saturday when they play in the Public vs. Pricate Challenge hosted by McDonogh. The mixer, which originated in 2012, features 52 teams on three different courts.
Host McDonogh will play Rock Creek Christian at 4 p.m. and St. Frances will face No. 11 Western at 7 p.m. with both games played on Court 1.
M – Nelson 16, Valdez 8, Mitchell 4, Davis 11, Dorsey 2. Totals: 15 8-12 41
SF – Reese 23, Gourdine 9, Turner 5, Humphrey 12, Hinton 2. Totals: 19 12-23 51
Half: SF, 27-19