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McDonogh School girls’ basketball coach Brad Rees doesn’t like playing key IAAM A Conference matches, like Wednesday against No. 7 Roland Park Country School, early in the season. Back on the court, in any capacity, for the first time since Saturday only heightened Rees’ angst.

The layoff showed on both teams, but the second-ranked Eagles cobbled together enough plays to secured a 48-41 victory in Owings Mills. Junior point guard Danielle Edwards had 11 points for McDonogh and Dajah Logan added 10.

After building an 12-point advantage early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles had to withstand a late Roland Park charge to improve to 3-0 (2-0 IAAM A).

“I wasn’t real happy with our overall performance,” McDonogh coach Brad Rees said. “And especially with our composure down the stretch. Not having practiced in four days, I thought our conditioning hurt us.”

“We definitely let up in the second half,” said Edwards, who recently verbally committed to Clemson University. “I was proud of the team because we didn’t give up.”

The Eagles led 41-29 in the fourth after a basket by Central Connecticut State commit Brianna Jacobs, but the Reds crept to within 42-36 on a drive by Michala Clay with 2 minute, 1 second left in regulation. Roland Park stopped the Eagles on the ensuing possession, but McDonogh got a jump ball to regain possession.

Logan grabbed her own miss and scored, putting the Eagles up 44-36 with 56.3 seconds remaining. Roland Park (1-1, 1-1 IAAM A) got back within 45-41 with 15.4 seconds left, but a free throw by Lilli Robb and a Logan layup finally put McDonogh in the clear.

“Like Coach said it’s always good to win a game even when you don’t play your best. We definitely didn’t play our best today,” said Logan, a junior guard who’s committed to East Carolina. “When we got back in, you can definitely see the chemistry building back up.”

The Eagles didn’t look affected early, grabbing a quick 9-2 lead. But Roland Park, sparked by senior Tatyana Carter (six points in first) inside play, had the advantage by quarter’s end (13-12).

The Reds never led again. McDonogh went on a 15-0 run, capped by a steal and layup by Maya Wynn for a  27-13 lead.

The Eagles gained their largest lead, 38-23, after a rebound and basket by Logan. Jamiera Johnson was also critical int the post Wednesday, finishing with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Clay led Roland Park with 10 points, including a basket with a little over three minutes left in regulation to get the Reds within single-digits. Roland Park made it to a two-possession contest in the final minute, but wasn’t able to recover from a rough second quarter.

“I think we had a three-minute funk in the first half. We struggled to get into our offense and that wore us down a bit,” said Reds coach Scott Buckley, who has nearly his entire roster back from last season. “Our intensity turned up a bit in the second half and we started causing some turnovers and that’s what we need to do to our transition game going. It’s early.”

logan and edwards“It’s a win and we’re happy,” said Rees, whose team plays South Shore (N.Y.) at the Beast of East Showcase Saturday at Roland Park and Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) at the She Got Game Classic at Bishop McNamara in Prince George’s County Sunday afternoon. “I hate playing them  [Roland Park] this early because I don’t think either one of us are where we will be six weeks from now.”

No. 2 McDonogh School 48, No. 7 Roland Park Country School 41

Roland Park – Alexander 4, Edwards 9, Johnson 2, Holder 7, Clay 10, Andrews 3, Carter 6. Totals 13 15-24 41.

McDonogh –  Edwards 11, Robb 4, Jacobs 7, Logan 10, Wynn 9, Johnson 8. Totals 17 12-21 48.

Roland Park 13 5 7 16 – 41

McDonogh 12 19 7 10 – 48