After his team’s victory over McDonogh School Thursday evening, Calvert Hall College coach John Bauersfeld had a simple message.

“Eight more quarters to win,” he told his team inside a room on the lower level of McDonogh’s Field House.

If the Cardinals’ performance Thursday is an indication, they’re going to be a really tough out the next two games and beyond.  The Towson school throttled No. 16 McDonogh, 72-55, in a MIAA A Conference match.

Justin Beck scored a game-high 23 points for Calvert Hall (10-15 overall, 5-9 MIAA A), and Denzel Richardson added 19 points and eight rebounds. Kayel Locke had 18 points for McDonogh (14-12, 6-10 MIAA A), and junior swingman B.J. Andrews finished with 14.

The Cardinals led wire-to-wire Thursday in an impressive rebound after Tuesday’s overtime loss to No. 5 Mount St. Joseph. Calvert Hall coach John Bauersfeld said his team’s playing its best basketball of the season.

“This is the best game we played wire-to-wire,” said Bauersfeld. “We played really well Tuesday and lost a tough one to St. Joe, We played well against John Carroll and lost a tough one there, but we’ve kept it going.”

“Coach has been preaching to us win every quarter and that’s what we did today,” said  Beck, a senior guard. “We competed. This is what happens when you compete.”

It started from the opening tip as Calvert Hall built a quick 10-2 advantage, forcing a McDonogh time out. The Cardinals led 24-17 after one as Beck and Richardson for all but three points.

The lead grew to double digits at 32-21 in the second quarter after a pair of free throws by Beck. With an effective transition and half-court attack, Calvert Hall had the lead at 36-26 at intermission.

Beck single-handedly pushed the Cardinals to 56-38 after three quarters, scoring his team’s final six points including a three-pointer with a McDonogh defender draped on him. The guard totaled his 23 points in three quarters.

“Justin and Denzel attacked the rim well, Julian [Davis] was awesome on the boards and distributing the ball, Conor [McVan] just played tremendous against Kayel,” said Bauersfeld.

It couldn’t come at a better time for the Cardinals, who need victories at Archbishop Spalding Friday night and at Loyola Blakefield Sunday evening to leapfrog McDonogh for the sixth and final spot for next week’s MIAA A playoffs.

They know the next eight quarters will ultimately define their season.

“We’re going to try to go there and make some noise,” said Beck.

Calvert Hall College 72, No. 16 McDonogh School 55

Calvert Hall: Richardson 19, Beck 23, Davis 10, Edwards 11, McVan 1, Smith 3, Mayberry 1, Tawiah 2. Totals: 24 19-25 72.

McDonogh: Scott 3, Andrews 14, Jorgenson 6, Jackson 3, Locke 18, Hofemeister 2, Robinette 2, Sweeney 2, Wuvas 3. Totals 15 18-27 55.

Calvert Hall 24 12 20 16-72
McDonogh  17   9 12 17-55