Late rally pushes Concordia Prep past No. 13 Pikesville in girls basketball mixer
The Concordia Prep girls’ basketball team was put to the test at Saturday’s Panther Classic. Trailing 11 at halftime, the Saints faced a 7-point deficit to host Pikesville with just two minutes left of regular time.
“We just can’t give up because anything can happen,” said Concordia coach John Cooney. “If we play good defense, it’s hard to beat us. I told them at the time out that we had to turn it up a notch and I think they did.”
The 11th-ranked Saints snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a 57-54 decision over the No. 13 Panthers in the finals of the five-game mixer. No. 5 Howard, New Town and St. Mary’s all recorded easy wins while Mount Carmel in No. 12 edged No. 8 Old Mill 44-42.
After Pikesville knocked down a 3-pointer to take a 52-45 lead late in regulation, Concordia (8-1 overall) strapped on defense to get back into the game. Hailee Ford helped the defense turn over three straight possessions, and the Saints leveled the game 52 points with a minute left when Ford fed Alira Penn for the equalization point.
The Panthers missed a shot and Ford grabbed the defensive rebound and pinned the ball to the floor. She paused on top of the key and found an open Cori Barnes in the corner.
Barnes splashed a trifecta, giving Concordia a 55-52 advantage. Pikesville (2-2) drew within 55-54 from two Jayda Maylas free throws, but Concordia ended the game with two foul shots from Gabby Smelcer and another stop at the defensive end.
“I was really proud of the pressing [defense]”Ford said. “We’re not usually a team that pushes that hard. We got in very quickly and didn’t give up. Our rush, our evasive maneuvers – I’m really proud of our approach to this situation.”
Penn and Smelcer led offensively for the Saints by 12 points each, while Ford had all 11 points in the third quarter to help Concordia, who reached last winter’s IAAM B-2 Conference Finals, close a 27-16 halftime deficit overcome Saturday.
The Saints’ only setback of the young season was a 67-62 loss to Glen Burnie, the Class 4A semifinalist and No. 6.
Freshman Mariah Jones-Bey led Pikesville by 14 points, Maylas by 13 points. Defending Class 1A champions Panthers used a strong defensive effort to build the double-digit halftime lead on Saturday.
But Pikesville coach Michael Dukes felt his team was too careless with the ball in the second half and on the track, helping Concordia come back.
“We gave the game away,” Dukes said. “We have to be able to take the ball. We had high schoolers out there who didn’t care about basketball. Extremely disappointing. These sales were non-compulsory sales. There is no excuse for that. We have to get better.”
The Mount Carmel veterans were seven points behind in the fourth quarter in another tight top-15 match against Old Mill. Sophomore guard Shalya Garnett converted two free throws by 9.6 seconds for the Cougars.
The rally was authored by Madden, who finished Saturday with 14 points. The senior guard/forward seemed to be everywhere for Mount Carmel (3-2) in the last two minutes.
“She was the rock, Davis and Hawa (Doumboya) came through and made big plays when we needed it. These are your seniors leading by example,” Cougars coach Rob Long said. “When the game was at stake, they didn’t waver.”
Madden’s steal and basket put Mount Carmel at 42-38 with 1:30 remaining on the rule. After another steal and goal with 1:15 left, Madden came up with a loose ball and the Cougars were able to time out and gain possession with 50 seconds left.
Mount Carmel got the ball to Doumboya, a 6-foot-4 University of Maryland recruit, who dropped a short hookshot and tied the game at 42 with about 43 seconds remaining. Old Mill turned the ball over with 30.3 seconds left, but Doumboya missed two free throws with 23.3 seconds left.
The Patriots missed a shot and Doumbouya got the rebound and sent an exit pass to Garnett, who was fouled while going up for a shot. She converted both free throws.
Madden batted away a pass attempt from Old Mill, and teammate Anyla Davis saved the free ball to complete the comeback.
“We were in a hurry and we just needed to calm down,” said Madden, whose team was trailing 39-32 with 6 minutes left in regulation. “It’s our last season and we have to take things seriously if we’re going to get where we want to be.”
Jerimah. Brown and Amani Watts finished the game with 12 and 11 points, respectively, for Old Mill (1-3), who was on a 13-0 run from the end of the third quarter into the first few minutes of the fourth, to clinging to a 39-32 lead gained . But the Anne Arundel County stronghold went into the final 6:22 of the rule without a field goal.
“I think we accelerated ourselves, we didn’t take the time to let the games develop and didn’t protect the ball at the end,” said Patriots coach Henry Fuller, whose team lost to No. 6 Glen Burnie hat , seventh mercy and No. 12 Mount Carmel. “It won’t take away from what Mount Carmel did to be more aggressive, but we need to slow our pace and play our game.”
St. Mary’s became the first area girls’ program to reach 10 wins with a 66-22 win over Great Mills of southern Maryland. Freshman guard Bailey Harris ended with 18 points for the Saints (10-0), and Baily Walden added 13.
Nialah Mingo put on the best individual performance on Saturday as New Town handed Gerstell Academy their first loss, 62-37. Mingo, a junior forward, finished the tournament with 29 points for the Titans (3-2), who led 35-13 at halftime.
Nasia Hart added 14 points for New Town. Kiara Hardy had 15 points for Gerstell (5-1).
Howard continued his regular-season winning streak with a 61-47 win over Holy Cross of Montgomery County on 47. Samiyah Nassir scored 25 points for the Lions (6-0) and Gabby Kennerly finished with 18 points.
NO. 11 CONCORDIA PREP 57, NO. 13 PIKESVILLE 54
Concordia – Alira Penn (12), Gabby Smelcer (12), Cori Barnes (11), Hailee Ford (11), Paige Baily (6), Kaitlin Osbourn (3), Bri Taylor (2).
Pikesville – Mariah Jones-Bey 14, Jayda Males 13, Korai Bowen 9, Tykeisha Hill 7, Darielle Weems 5, Bree Taylor 5, Aliyah Taylor 1.
Concordia 10 6 20 21 – 57
Pikesville 9 18 6 21 – 54
NO. 5 HOWARD 61, HOLY CROSS 47
Holy Cross – Seymour 26, Dust 10, Finney 7, MacNamara 2, Sylvestre 2.
Howard – Nassir 25, Kennerly 18, Cousin 5, Smith 4, Watson 4, Harrison 3, Allen-Jones 2
Holy Cross 12 12 10 13 – 47
NO. 12 MOUNTAIN CARMEL 44, N0. 8 OLD MILL 42
Old Mill – J. Brown 12, Watt 11, N. Brown 9, Furrell 6, Douglass 4.
Mount Carmel – Madden 14, Blackshear 10, Doumbouya 8, Hermann 5, Nkongolo 4, Garnett 2, Friend 1.
Mount Carmel 14 10 8 12 – 44
NEUSTADT 62, ACADEMY GERSTELL 37
Gerstell – Hardy 15, Williams 8, Delone 5, Gochnauer 5, Redman 2, Roberts 2.
Neustadt – Mingo 29, Hart 14, Man 6, Makiah P. 6, Ryan J. 4, Dowser 2, Gillen-Bagley 2.
Neustadt 12 23 14 13 – 62
ST. MARY’S 66, GREAT MILLS 22
Great Mills – Bush 12, Adams 5, Suggs 5.
St. Mary’s – Harris 18, Walden 13, Mitchell 7, Vandiver 7, Ervin 6, Hallelfinger 6, Novak 4, Oxendine 4, Philbeck 2.
Large Mills 5 10 2 5 – 22
St. Mary’s 16 16 22 22 12 – 66