- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Calverton may be moving on to the next round of the Maryland Independent Schools Athletic League playoffs after fighting off pesky visiting Seed Academy of Washington, D.C., 47-43 on Tuesday, but the win came at a large cost.
The Cougars (12-6 overall), who are the top seed in the Bay Conference, hosted Takoma Academy of Montgomery County, the second seed in the Capital Conference, in the semifinals Thursday night. That game ended too late for inclusion in this edition. During the regular season, Calverton took 38 shots but fell to Takoma 36-4 on Jan. 8.
Thursday night, the Cougars were forced to play without leading scorer Shannon Moore, who went down Tuesday with a right ankle injury with 7 minutes and 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Cougars holding a 13-point lead.
Moore walked off under her own power and returned to the floor but went down again with 6:42 left and did not return. Following the game, Moore kept pressure off her ankle by crawling across the gymnasium floor toward the exit.
“She’s done,” Calverton head coach Savannah Webb said in an email early Wednesday afternoon regarding Moore, who finished with 12 points and a team-high 15 rebounds.
Calverton increased its lead to as many as 15 points early in the third quarter, but Moore went out and the game changed.
“I was proud of the girls who stepped up,” Webb said. “They all came in and stepped up and played well and pulled it together when they needed to. I’m proud of them sticking through against the adversity, but we need to do better.”
One of those who helped carry Calverton to the win was Angelina Horan, who finished with nine rebounds and a team-high 16 points. Horan also added two each of steals, assists and blocks. Elise Bouchard added six points, six rebounds, two steals and an assist, and Melody Arrington converted her first varsity free throw.
“It was really important [to step up],” Horan said, “[because] she’s strong down in the paint.”
The Falcons (3-13) whittled the lead down to seven points, but each time they appeared to get on a run, Calverton would make a clutch bucket. Seed ended the game on a 5-0 run by Taniya Dunn, but time ran out.
“I really did [think that was our opening] because she hurt us a lot down low, a lot,” Seed head coach Terrance Alexander said of Moore’s exit. “I felt when she went down we had a chance, but a few turnovers here and there and some miscues on defense created some baskets for them on the other end.”
The loss spoiled a spectacular game by Dunn, who finished with a game-high 34 points, including 10 on free throws.
“I was just looking at the floor to see where I could get through to the basket,” said Dunn, whose season-high was a 47-point effort. “I was just taking their criticism well and handle what the coaches told me and went out and executed and worked well with my teammates.”
The freshman scored her team’s first 18 points until teammate Brianna Brown’s short-range jumper with 47.3 seconds left in the first half.
“She was pretty hard [to cover],” Horan said of Dunn. “She was the best on their team, so she was carrying them.”
Calverton never trailed, and the only tie was at 2 in the opening minute of the game.
“I’m really happy with the way we played,” Horan said. “We had energy the whole game and a positive attitude.”
Webb said the game should never have been as close as it was.
“It was a lot closer than it should have been,” Webb said of the game, which started 45 minutes late due to Seed’s tardy arrival. “I think us waiting around for the game to start actually hurt us and took us out of our rhythm. Foul trouble hurt us and shooting, and most [of our misses] are layups. I think motivation and we have to keep our defensive intensity but also our offensive movement of the ball.”
Calverton boys season ends
Ray LaPlaca scored a team-high 12 points, but the Calverton boys fell 61-45 Tuesday to host Spencerville of Montgomery County in a MISAL quarterfinal match-up. The Cougars were the third seed in the Bay Conference.
Calverton’s 10 wins is its most in eight seasons, and head coach Rick Lagana is excited already for next season.
“With two freshmen, five sophomores and one junior in uniform tonight,” he said, “the future looks even brighter.”
Calverton (10-10) struggled offensively in the first half and trailed 35-19 at the half. It came out hot in the third and pared the deficit down to three late in the quarter but would not get any closer.
Corey Darden scored nine points for Calverton, and Ty Herriott and Nick Nwadike scored six and five, respectively.
Josh Hubbard and Zane Mass each scored four points, while John Mazza and Alan Ashford each had two and Eric Gao had one point. The Cougars lost leading scorer Cole Rainier to a foot injury late in the season.