Roughly one month after the two teams had met in the second game of the season for both squads, the Calvert High School girls basketball team edged host Huntingtown 37-32 last Friday evening in a contest featuring two of the younger squads in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference.
Calvert (3-2 overall, 3-1 in SMAC) had cruised to a 64-46 victory over Huntingtown when the two teams met on Dec. 10 in Prince Frederick, but last Friday evening the Cavaliers were in for a battle throughout. Huntingtown (3-3, 2-3) owned a modest, 18-17, lead at the intermission but faced a 28-25 hole heading into the final frame and never recovered.
“Energy, energy, energy,” said Calvert girls’ basketball coach Alex Friedman, whose team will host North Point this evening. “These girls have really bought into what we have taught them. It’s a tough system to play, especially having to do all of that running. I know I wouldn’t want to to do it. But they’ve bought into it. They’re dedicated and they’re so unselfish.”
In contrast to the previous meeting, Huntingtown actually started quickly on Friday. The Hurricanes led 4-0 and 6-2 early on buckets from Millie Garner and Heidi Torre and Tanah Gorman. But the Cavaliers ended the opener on an 8-2 run courtesy of baskets from Da’myni Johnson, Desiree Barnes and Hannah Wilt, one of several girls’ soccer players on the team.
Huntingtown sophomore Gorman scored her team’s last two baskets of the first quarter and the Hurricanes’ first three baskets of the second to erase an early deficit. Johnson connected on a three-point field goal to give the Cavaliers a 15-12 lead with six minutes left in the first half, but the visitors managed only two free throws before the intermission and trailed the Hurricanes, 18-17, at the break.
Calvert and Huntingtown were tied on five different occasions and the teams exchanged leads five times in the third quarter, but the Cavaliers closed out the third quarter with two free throws from Johnson and a bucket inside from Barnes. With just over six minutes left in the quarter, Barnes scored on a layup then was sidelined for four minutes with a left leg cramp.
A layup and two free throws from Gorman got the Hurricanes within one point on two occasions, but the hosts were hindered by missed opportunities over the next five minutes. Huntingtown players combined to miss six layups — five of which were uncontested — in the fourth quarter and Calvert gradually pulled away although the Cavaliers missed their final nine free throw attempts.
“We’re a very young team,” said Huntingtown girls’ basketball coach Jennifer Shoup. “We’re just beginning to gel together as a team. We’re looking to peak in late February. Tanah [Gorman] could be really special. She had the chance to play last winter [at New Hope Academy]. She’s just a sophomore, but she’s done well. We just missed way too many layups tonight and that might have cost us 20, 30 points.”