No. 1 Panthers pull away in national showdown at Public vs. Private girls hoop showcase; Glenelg Country, Maryvale, Spalding pull off Top 20 upsets (VIDEO)

St. Frances’ Diamoni Dorsey (0) gets a hand on the basketball as South Shore’s Kateri Poole begins to drive during Saturday’s girls basketball contest at the Public vs. Private Challenge at McDonogh School. The top-ranked Panthers pulled away in the fourth quarter from the nationally-ranked New York City squad for a 55-45 decision. (photo – HoopHaven)

by Derek Toney & Katherine Dunn

It’s no secret that Angel Reese and Aniya Gourdine are the go-to closers for St. Frances Academy girls basketball. In the Panthers’ biggest game-to-date Saturday evening, it was the Panthers’ complimentary performers who set the stage.

No. 1 St. Frances defeated New York’s South Shore, 55-45, at the Public vs. Private Challenge at McDonogh School’s Rollins-Luetkemeyer Athletic Complex in Owings Mills. Top 20 squads Howard, Meade, St. John’s Catholic Prep, St. Paul’s, St. Timothy’s and Western were victorious.

Forest Park, Old Mill, Reservoir, Roland Park Country School and Western weren’t as fortunate at the area’s top in-season tournament. Archbishop Spalding handed No. 10 Old Mill its first loss in a 64-56 decision.

Senior guard Terra Dzambo scored 17 points for the Cavaliers (9-7), and Koi Sims added 16. Mikiayah Mallet finished with a game-high 20 points for Old Mill (10-1).

The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Severn private school, which received 12 points from freshman Kamari Sims. Amari Watts had 14 points for the Patriots , who lost for the first time since last year’s Class 4A state title game.

Howard guard Marisa Sanchez-Henry (right) drives past Mount Carmel’s Tsion Smith. Sanchez-Henry finished with 14 points as the fourth-ranked Lions improved to 12-0 with a 48-39 victory. (photo – HoopHaven)

Howard is now the only undefeated public in the Baltimore area, courtesy of a 48-39 victory over Mount Carmel. Anii Harris finished with 15 points for the Lions (12-0), and Wagner University-bound guard Marisa Sanchez-Henry added 14.

The perennial Howard County power started the second half of a 13-1 run, turning a 26-17 halftime lead into 39-18. Camille Malagar had 12 points for Howard.

Freshman center Hawa Doumbswya led Mount Carmel with 10 points. The Cougars (5-10) defeated City College at the Basketball Academy at Morgan State Thursday.

No. 6 Western dropped a 53-50 decision to Prince George’s County’s National Christian Academy. Ciara Harris led National Christian with 13 points, and Kaiya Creek added 11.

Gabby Johnson had 14 point for Western (6-3), and Nyceara Pryor and Sanaya Gray added 13 and 12, respectively. Pryor scored 11 in the second half.

Middletown stopped No. 8 Roland Park Country as Reese Poffenbarger showed why she’s one of the nation’s top juniors. The UCONN commit blocked Myah Simmons’ attempt at the buzzer, giving the Frederick County school a 49-47 victory.

Poffenbarger had 13 points with 10 rebounds and five assists for the Knights (8-1). Senior Mir McLean, who’s headed to UCONN, finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds and four assists for the Reds (7-5), who play at St. Frances Monday in a rematch of last year’s IAAM A Conference final.

Glenelg Country School routed No. 14 Reservoir, 66-45, as Caroline Haynes scored 21 points and Ashlyn Bender added 18 including three three-pointer. Tiffany Hooker finished with 18 points for Reservoir.

Leading 12-10 after one, the Ellicott City private school (8-4) dominated the final three quarters to complete a 4-0 week. On the flip side, Reservoir (6-4) went 0-3 on the week, including losses to No. 4 Howard and 13th-ranked River Hill in Howard County public play.

Claire Neff had a big game for Maryvale Prep. The Clemson University recruit finished with 28 points in the Lions’ 51-43 victory over 15th-ranked Forest Park.

Maryvale Prep defeated No. 15 Forest Park, 51-43, behind a huge effort from Claire Neff. The 6-foot-3 Clemson University recruit went for 28 points in her first game back after missing the last couple of games due to illness.

The Lions (7-6) led 21-16 at halftime, then pushed the lead to 39-25 after three. Forest Park closed the gap in the fourth, but Neff scored eight points, hitting six of seven free throws in the final minutes.

Junior Neah Henry led the Foresters (6-2) with 17 points. Defending IAAM B champ and 11th-ranked St. Paul’s School and surprising St. Timothy’s School also won.

In the opening game, St. Paul’s got 18 points from Destiny Ryles and sophomore forward Laurie Satchell added 12 in a 68-44 rout of Mount Hebron. The Gators (12-3) outscored the Howard County school, 34-20, in the second half.

Satori Valentine led the Vikings (5-6) with 17 points, and Audrey Harrington finished with 10.

Senior guard Briel Jones poured in 21 points as No. 19 Meade topped Mount de Sales Academy, 52-36. The Anne Arundel County school (10-2) outscored the Sailors, 18-5, in the second quarter to claim a 30-16 halftime advantage.

Megan Matsko finished with 11 points for Mount de Sales (7-10).

St. Timothy’s coach Vernon Harris feared his team might be a bit rusty this weekend after a three-week Christmas break, but they defeated Springdale Prep, 58-51 in overtime Friday night and then had little trouble with Prince George’s County’s Henry A. Wise to improve their record to 6-0.

Jasmine Johnson, a 6-foot junior center, led the team with 17 points while 5-11 junior forward-guard Brianna Rider scored nine for No. 17 St. Timothy’s.

The Pumas struggled against St. Timothy’s height and pressure, but another big advantage was the multifaceted skill set of most of St. Tim’s players. Harris said that has been the key to their success this season.

Caroline Bender (left) and Ashlyn Bender combined for 39 points in Glenelg Country’s victory over 14th-ranked Reservoir. The Dragons have won four straight.

“We have a lot of versatility,” Harris said. “We have a lot of kids who can play multiple positions, especially my centers and forwards. They can ball handle, so we can count of them doing some other things also.”

St. John’s Catholic Prep went into Saturday’s game against South River aiming to rebound in a big way from a Friday night loss to No. 2 St. Vincent Pallotti.

The No. 5 Vikings didn’t waste any time, using their pressure defense and three-point shooting to take an early nine-point lead and go on to beat the No. 9 Seahawks, 49-29.

“We all wanted to play a lot better than we did [Friday],” said Vikings senior Kayla Cooper of the 63-41 loss to Pallotti. “I think we were all pretty devastated that we lost [Friday] and before the game, we all came together and we all just wanted to give it our all.”

The Vikings (10-2), with just eight players on the roster, kept the Seahawks off balance the entire game with their press. They forced 29 turnovers, including eight in the first quarter.

St. John’s first-year coach Maddie McConnell said the press is key to the Vikings’ success.

“I like that the twins (Nia and Linsday Thweatt), who actually came over from Pallotti, give us a good presence. They’re fast and they do a good job pressuring up top in the press. They make the other team tired,” McConnell said.

The Vikings’ first run came midway through the first quarter when Jalyn McNeill hit two three-pointers and Jasmine Huskey had one in a 9-2 run that gave the Vikings a 13-4 lead.

The Seahawks (10-2) cut the lead to 21-18 late in the second quarter with a six-point run that included Julia Fitzwater’s three-pointer and a terrific move to the hoop by Harley Herndon.

However, the Vikings answered with five points, a runner from Huskey and a three-pointer from Cooper ,to polish off the half with a 28-23 lead.

The Seahawks never again pulled closer than within 10.

Cooper, who finished with 18 points, said her team has been focused on the press since before the season began.

“Since the beginning of the season and even before it started, back in October, we’ve been running. [McConnell] told us when she first got here that we were going to press the entire game and she wanted us to be in shape… We’re more conditioned than most teams, so when they’re tired fourth quarter, we’re not.”

South River coach Mike Zivic said it was an off day for his team, which remains undefeated in the Anne Arundel County league. The Seahawks’ only previous setback was a two-point loss to Howard.

“It’s the worst game we’ve played and this is not the team you want to play your worst game against,” Zivic said. “It opened their eyes, I think. You learn a lot from losses, so we’ll see what happens on Tuesday when we come back… Luckily, basketball’s a longer season and we’ve got time.”

It’s been one step forward, two steps back for a young McDonogh squad this season. The Eagles withstood a second half push by No. 12 Pikesville in a 55-36 victory.

Freshman forward Paris Locke scored 15 points for the Eagles (9-5), and Jayla Oden added 13. Loyola University-bound forward Charia Roberts finished with 12 points for Pikesville (6-3).

The IAAM A Conference stronghold established a 14-point halftime lead before Pikesville climbed to within seven early in the fourth quarter. McDonogh scored the game’s final 12 points to complete a 3-1 week.

“It just a matter of hanging on. It’s been a real long week,” said Eagles coach Brad Rees. “They [Pikesville] were relentless and we missed some layups down the stretch, but I was proud of how we hung in there.”

After being blitzed by Poly at the Basketball Academy Friday evening, Pikesville trailed 37-23 at half, but was within 43-36 on a free throw from Tyra Robinson. Locke got an offensive board and scored and Oden added a basket to make it 47-36.

Oden, a junior guard, and Locke, whose brothers Noah (Florida) and Kayel (North Carolina-Greensboro) starred for McDonogh’s boys squad, combined for nine points during the decisive final charge. Freshman A Jenkins provided a three-pointer.

The Eagles have only two seniors on their roster. McDonogh defeated Spalding, 74-40, Friday evening after games with St. Frances (53-36 loss) and Mount Carmel (76-45 win).

“It’s great to have this type of experience playing four games in a six-day stretch. We’re getting better everyday,” said Rees. “We’ve had some good games, bad stretches, but we’re getting there.”

“We need to start games stronger,” said Oden. “In my eyes, we’re the top team in the IAAM A, but not showing it.”

St. Frances has sat in the so-called IAAM A throne the last four seasons. The Panthers may have earned a place in the nation’s upper echelon after knocking off New York’s South Shore.

Junior guard Aniya Gourdine scored 20 points for St. Frances (12-1), and University of Maryland recruit Angel Reese added 16. Ohio State-bound guard Katera Poole finished with a game-high 21 points for South Shore (13-1), ranked fourth nationally by MaxPreps.

The East Baltimore school, ranked 11th nationally by MaxPreps, got quality play from its starters, paving the way to Reese and Gourdine’s 1-2 knockout combination in the fourth against the previously undefeated Brooklyn squad.

Junior forward Anani Humphrey was a presence in the paint while Daimoni Dorsey, Kameryn Dorsey and Khalia Turner helped on perimeter defense.

“We need those little things to win games like this,” said St. Frances coach Jerome Shelton. “When you put any kind of ingredients into something you need everything. We know Angel and Aniya are the formula, but we need things to go with that formula.”

“We had to make our team a little smaller. I trusted my teammates to make open shots and they came through,” said Reese. “Anani got a lot of clutch rebounds when they were doubling or boxing me out.”

Reese went to the bench for rest late in the third quarter as Gourdine closed the frame with a three-pointer and basket, putting St. Frances ahead 36-31. Poole scored her squad’s first seven points in the fourth, pulling South Shore even at 38.

The Panthers answered with an 8-0 run as Reese, who returned at the 5:02 mark in the fourth, converted a three-point play with 2:03 left in regulation. Reese scored 12 points in the second half and Gourdine went nine of 10 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

Shelton was pleased to see his team settled down after a rough start Saturday.

“We have maintain confidence in one another in tough times,” said Shelton. “We struggled early finishing plays and it carried over to the defensive end. We were trying to go one-on-one and you can’t beat a team like that. You got to be team-oriented and that’s what happened in the end.”



No. 12 St. Paul’s School 68, Mount Hebron 44

St. Paul’s – Ryles 18, Sawyers 13, Beale 6, Johnson 3, Satchell 12, Konkolics 3, Kasten 4, Espirit 9. Totals 25 9-11 68.

Mount Hebron – Valentine 17, Dixon 11, Harrington 8, Miller 3, Vidal 3, Unkenholz 2. Totals 15 10-15 44.

St. Paul’s 14 20 13 21 – 68

Mount Hebron 13 11 12 8 – 44

No. 4 Howard 48, Mount Carmel 39

Mount Carmel – Doumbswya 10, Alexander 6, Smith 5, Stanford 7, Williams 2, Madden 9. Totals 15 7-13 39.

Howard – Harris 15, Sanchez-Henry 14, Malagar 12, Durkee 5, McDuffie 2. Totals 15 12-30 48.

Mount Carmel 9 8 6 16 – 39

Howard 11 15 16 6 – 48

Glenelg Country School 66, No. 14 Reservoir 45

Glenelg Country – Haynes 21, Bender 18, O’Ferrall 8, B. Byrne 6, Lisk 6, R. Byrne 4, Doreen 3.

Reservoir – Hooker 18, Abunassar 6, Pennington 6, Hardie 5, Holmes 4, Moultrie 4, Jenne 2.

Glenelg Country 12 17 20 17 – 66

Reservoir 10 10 15 10 – 45

No. 17 St. Timothy’s School 47, Henry A. Wise 20

St. Timothy’s – Brianna Rider 12, Jada Johnson 4, Jasmine Johnson 19, Andrea Cherisier 3, Derinsu Aksut 2, Aryss Macktoon 7. Totals 16 14-27 48.
Wise – Lauren Price 10, Carly Thomas 2, Kiersten Rose 1, Caia Loving 4, Gabby Williams 3. Totals 5 9-20 20.
St. Timothy’s 9  12  15  11 – 47
Wise 6  3  7  4 – 20

Middletown 49, No. 7 Roland Park Country School 47

Roland Park – McLean 25, Simmons 3, Fedash 2, Levine 9, Diehl 6, Franks 2. Totals 17 4-5 47.

Middletown – Poffenbarger 13, Woelkers 12, Putty 2, Pick 9, Shipley 13. Totals 17 9-10 49.

Roland Park 12 7 14 14 – 47

Middletown 13 6 17 13 – 49

No. 5 St. John’s Catholic Prep 49, No. 9 South River 28

St. John’s – Nia Thweatt 4, Lindsay Thweatt 5, Kayla Cooper 18, Alexa Osafa-Mensa 3, Chanelle Lee 2, Jalyn McNeill 10, Jasmine Huskey 7. Totals 20 3-11 49.

South River – Keimani Smith 2, Megan Curtner 1, Tommi Bresnahan 2, Haley Herndon 6, Caitlin McGuirk 1, Julia Fitzwater 9, Ashlynn Burrows 8. Totals 11 4-6 29.

St. John’s  15 11 10 13 – 49

South River 9 9 4 7 – 29

No. 8 McDonogh School 55, No. 12 Pikesville 36

McDonogh – Mitchell 5, Swam 5, Oden 13, Yarborough 8, Locke 15, Quimby 4, Class 2, Jenkins 3. Totals 21 8-15 55.

Pikesville – Glover-Bey 7, Bland 2, Robinson 8, Fisher 5, Moore 2, Roberts 12. Totals 13 6-14 36.

McDonogh 22 15 6 12 – 55

Pikesville 15 8 12 1 0 36

No. 1 St. Frances Academy 55, South Shore (NY) 45

St. Frances – Dorsey 3, Gourdine 20, Reese 16, Humphrey 7, Barnes 5, Turner 4. Totals 16 20-25 55.

South Shore – Poole 21, Cox 2, Nelson 8, Wilson 14. Totals 12 18-22 45.

St. Frances 6 18 12 19 – 55

South Shore 13 9 9 14 – 45

Maryvale Prep 51, No. 15 Forest Park 43

Maryvale – Fick 6, Vicendese 2, Giles 11, Commodari 2, Smith 2, Neff 28. Totals 18 10-15 51.

Forest Park – Banks 8, Henry 17, Mickens 9, Jones 4, Billie 5. Totals 18 2-7 43.

Maryvale 12 9 16 14 – 51

Forest Park 7 9 9 18 – 43

No. 19 Meade 52, Mount de Sales Academy 36

Mount de Sales – Wallace 2, Obi 5, Matsko 13, Eudy 9, Harris 8, Parker 1. Totals 12 8-15 36.

Meade – Bryant-Brown 7, Owens 21, Hill 2, Reid 8, Brown 14. Totals 19 10-18 52.

Mount de Sales 11 4 12 9 – 36

Meade 12 18 14 8 – 52

Archbishop Spalding 64, No. 10 Old Mill 56

Spalding – Dzambo 17, Koi Sims 16, Chaney 3, Sanabia 9, Kamari Sims 12, Peterein 6, Johnson 2. Totals 22 17-19 64.

Old Mill – Dews 2, Mallett 20, Chase 2, Johnson 2, Atkinson 7, Boone 3, Douglas 3, Hymes 3, Watts 14. Totals 23 6-18 56.

Spalding 16 8 22 18 – 64

Old Mill 12 11 18 15 – 56

National Christian Academy 53, No. 6 Western 50

National Christian – Harris 11, McKnight 2, Barnes 10, Tucker 2, Creek 11, Mayfield 2, Douglas 7. Totals 15 20-26 53.

Western – Henson 7, Knox 4, Gray 12, Pryor 13, Johnson 14. Totals 18 10-17 50.

National Christian 9 11 17 16 – 53

Western 10 9 14 20 – 50