- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Because of construction to its home gymnasium, the Calvert basketball teams hosted Patuxent on Friday night in a nonconference basketball doubleheader at Patuxent.
The host Cavaliers (2-0 overall) completed the sweep as the boys team pulled away in the second half for an 81-66 win, while the girls romped to a 109-24 victory over the Panthers.
The Cavaliers traditionally sit to the left of the scorer’s table, but as the home team Friday night moved about 60 feet to the seats on the right side, which is usually Patuxent’s.
“It’s harder to focus because you have to focus on things you didn’t used to, so we’re in a little bit of a learning stage here,” Calvert head coach Jeremy Kurutz said of the Cavaliers’ home away from home schedule. “This is our home game and we’re playing away and we have to come back here. ... Oh my goodness, I was thinking just now that, ‘Thank God we have them back at our place and then, oh no, no we don’t.’”
The Calvert boys arrived only about 30 minutes before tip-off, but it didn’t really matter as it pulled away from a feisty Panthers squad for the win.
Neither team was able to pull away from the other as both teams jockeyed back and forth. Patuxent held the game’s largest lead 49-43 in the middle of the third quarter and was up 55-53 entering the fourth.
“We basically talked about stepping it up on defense and coach Kurutz got under our tails a little bit and woke us up,” Calvert senior Jermaine Hunter said of the pep talk following the third quarter. “After that, we just continued to play our game but did it better.”
And it worked as the Cavaliers went on a 15-2 run to start the period and earn the win. Hunter had eight points during the game-changing run and arguably the best play of the game when he drove the lane, had his shot blocked, recovered the rebound and glided past his defender to bank the shot in off the glass.
Hunter, who had 23 points, eight assists and seven each of steals and rebounds, also had a pair of two-handed dunks that brought the large home away from home crowd to its feet.
“I try to do it because everyone feeds off of it,” Hunter said of his dunks. “Coach Kurutz told me, ‘You can dunk, do it, it gets the crowd into it.’”
Teammate Josh Smith also added 23 points, to go along with nine rebounds and four assists, which opened its season with a win over Lackey last Wednesday.
“They’re a press team, so it really spread out our offensive press and gave me some lanes and my team gave me some good passes in the lanes so I could finish,” Smith said. “We do have a couple things to fix; our press, we have to step it up a little bit and also breaking the press we have to work on a little bit.”
The Panthers (1-1) opened their season with a win over county rival Northern last Wednesday.
“I think our guys fought the entire time,” Patuxent first-year head coach Nick Wilson said. “I think we just have to keep working and there’s not one guy in the locker room who’s not committed to our goal. I feel like we played out game for three out of four quarters, it’s just got to become four out of four quarters. We just have to get over the hump of beating ourselves, but guys are battling at practice and we’ll get better. You look around at the banners in the gym and those are staples of our program and they’re moving in that direction and I’m so excited.”
Kurutz gave the Panthers plenty of credit for starting the game aggressively.
“The big thing is I have to tip my hat and to Patuxent’s kids and their coach because they came out with a passion,” Kurutz said. “I think my guys took some time to catch up to the speed they were playing. They weren’t expecting to run into the bee’s nest they ran into and at first, they were trying to swat the bees off and then finally after they got numbed to the stings and they started to come to their senses and look around, then they were able to get more control and look the floor over. Once they found where the nooks and crannies were on the floor, they were able to put it together. Patuxent did a great job of keeping us out of sync most of the game.”
Kurutz said county games are also hard-fought affairs.
“The county games are a dogfight and I don’t care what you have on the court, it’s a dogfight,” he said. “No one had a clue who was going to win that game. It was an up and down game. Everybody got their money’s worth tonight.”
Cavs girls crush Pax
The Cavaliers (2-0), the two-time defending Class 2A state champions, made short work of the Panthers as they scored at least 31 points in two of the four quarters and led 58-8 at the half.
“We didn’t play our perfect basketball game,” Calvert first-year head coach Tim Contee said. “We still have deficiencies and flaws. You can’t always look at the score, we’re looking to improve. We only have seven players on our team, so we have to use every opportunity to get better, so playing under the whistle with referees is a good way for us to get some conditioning in and try to execute our offense and rotate well on defense under the whistle.”
The Panthers (0-2) fell to Northern in their season opener last Wednesday.
“We have a ton of youth and what we really lack is experience,” said Patuxent head coach Stan Hampton, whose 11-player roster consists of six underclassmen. “We have girls that play soccer and volleyball and field hockey and we don’t have a ton of basketball players. And that’s what we’re trying to build. We had a lot of success last year and we think we can still build upon that, but right now we have just three girls with varsity experience and they didn’t get a lot of minutes last year so they’re still learning.”
Calvert was led by Daijah Thomas’ game-high 22 points. Kayla Gross and Jasmine Weems each scored 21 for the Cavaliers, who hit nine threes and held Patuxent to five points or less in each of the first three periods.
Carrie Franklin had a team-high five points for the Panthers and Karissa Fenwick dropped in a three as time expired in the fourth.