- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Calvert girls basketball team would like to improve in several areas of its game, but one would assume scoring is not one of them.
The Cavaliers (4-0 overall) kept their perfect record intact after rolling over county rival and host Northern 86-39 on Friday night.
“I’m a little bit more happy [than in previous games], but we still have a lot more improvements defensively,” said Calvert first-year head coach Tim Contee, whose predecessor Frank Moore took to the court in the second game of the nonconference boys and girls basketball doubleheader as head coach of the Northern boys team. “We have to work on our rotations and our press and our half-court defense. I’m happy we won, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Calvert has scored at least 77 points each game and is averaging 87.75 per game. The 39 points against was a season high, eclipsing the 38 scored by Leonardtown in both teams’ season openers on Dec. 5.
“I think that it’s progress from where we’re coming from, but I think we need to get better on defense,” said Calvert junior Daijah Thomas, who scored a game-high 25 points. “And we have a lot of work to do because in the future against [such powerhouse teams as] North Point and everyone, we’re going to have to pick it up. But I think we played pretty well.”
Calvert opened the scoring when Alexis Smith who did not start but came on the floor seven seconds into the game hit a three-pointer. Smith tied Thomas for the team lead with 25 points.
Northern’s Naaila Cooke hit a bucket moments later, but the Cavaliers promptly embarked on an 18-point run during which six of its seven players scored at least a point.
Northern (3-2) closed out the opening quarter with a 7-2 run, thanks in large part to a three-point play by Mauri Miller with eight seconds left in the period.
“It was a very challenging matchup,” Miller said. “We’ve always wanted to beat Calvert but … we stuck it out and tried our hardest and tried not to give up when it got really hard. But Calvert has a very good team.”
Calvert scored 20 or more points in three of four quarters and led 52-20 at halftime.
“We just need to do a better job of running our offenses and getting into our defense,” Northern head coach Brad Kingsbury said. “They outhustled us tonight tremendously and beat us to every loose ball and followed their shots real well and we did not follow our shots at all and that’s a big difference.”
Calvert did struggle mightily at the free-throw line where it shot just 6 of 14, 43 percent. The Patriots hit 4 of 5, 80 percent. The Cavaliers also hit seven three-pointers, including four by Kayla Gross.
Contee would like to see his team play with the same intensity level throughout the game and voiced his displeasure with that during a timeout late in the game.
“I think sometimes it’s hard to maintain the intensity the whole game,” he said, “but it’s still a work in progress.”
Kingsbury would like to see his team hustle more out on the court when it takes the court next on Wednesday when it hosts county rival Huntingtown. Game time is 6:30 p.m.
The Cavaliers are off until they host Westlake on Jan. 2 at Calvert Middle School.
“Our hustle and our energy level,” Kingsbury said of what his team needs to work on next. “Theirs was higher and they beat us to every loosed ball. We’re pretty young so we’re learning, but we’re getting there.”
“I think we’re doing really well because we have a lot of new players and a lot of fresh talent,” Miller said of the Patriots, who have no juniors and are starting a pair of freshmen in guards Natalie LaPlaca and Mykaela Bailey. “It’s all young players.”