- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
After suffering a 79-38 loss to Grace Christian Academy of Waldorf on Jan. 22, the Calverton boys basketball team pushed the hosting Knights to the limit on Friday night in the second game of a boys and girls Maryland Independent Schools Athletic League doubleheader, taking a two-point halftime lead.
Calverton controlled the tempo of the first half, but went cold from the field in the third quarter and the Knights went on to secure the 47-38 home victory on Spirit Night.
With its athleticism and sticky man-to man defense, Grace was able to wear down Calverton, especially in the fourth quarter where it once took an 11-point lead with about four minutes left in regulation.
Grace (17-5, 10-2 MISAL) defeated Clinton Christian 64-35 on Thursday to makeup a Jan. 28 postponement and took on Perry Street Prep (D.C.) on Monday night, a 64-55 loss.
”Calverton has a very good motion offense and they got some easy shots, we just weren’t rotating in the first half,” Grace head coach Brian Deschaine said. “They grabbed a lot of rebounds, but we woke up in the second half and made some adjustments. We talked about it in the locker room that it was our goal was to compete and honor God and we did that.”
After trading baskets for much of the game, the score was tied up at 29 with 1 minute 35 seconds left in the third quarter. Later, Khari Dickson’s basket on a foul and a free throw gave the Knights a five-point lead and eventually led 34-30 entering the fourth.
Grace exploded to a 42-31 lead with four minutes left, but Calverton would later cut the deficit to 42-36 with 1:39 remaining. The Knights knocked down five key free throws as time ran out for the Cougars.
”[Grace] turned up their man-to-man defense and we went through a stretch where there was a lid on the basket late in the third, early fourth,” Calverton head coach Rick Lagana said. “We took some quick shots in the second half and were a little slow on defense, but Grace has a nice ballclub this year.”
Leading the Knights in scoring was freshman guard Jordan White with a game-high 15 points, 12 coming in the first half. White also knocked down three three-pointers. Senior guard Jonathan Kinyanjui added 11 points, scoring nine in the second half, while Preston Saunders finished with eight points and Dickson added seven.
”Calverton made some adjustments and played us better this time,” Kinyanjui said. “We just kept on attacking them in the second half. We played very tough defense and got out in transition.”
White said hit three of the team’s five free throws in the final minute of the game to seal the win.
”I knew they were trying to pack it in and slow us down, but I just wanted to be ready to shoot when I was open,” White said. “This was a real nice win for us, we are building a lot of team chemistry.”
”Jordan has a lot of potential, he wasn’t shooting the ball well lately, but today was huge for him,” Deschaine added. “Jonathon is our leader and he had [two] early fouls. But in the second half he attacked and got some big buckets for us.”
Calverton (10-8, 4-5) was led by Zane Mass with a team-high 10 points. Corey Darden scored seven points, while Ty Herriott and Ray LaPlaca added six points apiece.
”We had nothing to lose and we thought we could play with a team that is athletic like this,” Mass said. “We were up on them in the first half, but we just played flat in the second half. We missed some layups and jumpers that we would like to have back, but we played tough. We had a good team effort tonight.”
Grace girls fall
Calverton senior Shannon Moore, who went to Grace Christian Academy from first- through eighth-grades, was happy to play on Friday night where she once spent her school years at.
Moore enjoyed the moment and was a force in the middle for the Cougars, scoring a game-high 16 points to go along with 20 rebounds, as Calverton cruised to a 41-10 victory.
”My dad [Richard] works with me all the time on my footwork and post moves,” Moore said. “I get a lot of my points off rebounds and I like contact.”
”It was a good win, we still need to improve our defense,” Calverton head coach Savannah Webb said. “We have to continue to play together and make our layups. But we have a good balance of scoring.”
Angelina Horan scored nine points and had six boards, while Cheyenne Manning added eight points in the win.
”Shannon was amazing down low,” Manning said. “She’s been carrying the team, but all of us brought a lot of energy. Hopefully we can make a push in the playoffs, I can’t wait.”
Calverton (10-6, 5-3) took a 14-4 lead after the first quarter and built a 23-8 halftime lead. The Cougars shut out Grace in the third quarter 10-0 and never looked back.
Leading the Knights (3-14, 0-12 after a 34-18 loss to Perry on Monday night) in scoring was freshman Abby Ellis with six points, all coming in the first half.