One of the top girls basketball powers from Maryland faced off against defending state CHSAA Class A champ on Sunday. It was a marquee matchup in an ambitious lineup of nine games over two days.
The St. Anthony's Turkey Tip-Off filled the South Huntington gym with high-quality basketball over the weekend. But the home crowd came out to see the in style.
Those fans will have to wait a while to see their first win. Academy of the Holy Cross (Kensington, Md.), a force in the Washington Catholic league, put together a late run to upend the Friars, 38-34.
After the Friars (0-1) regained the lead, 30-28, on sophomore point guard Rebecca Musgrove's shot from the top of the key, Holy Cross (1-1) closed the game with a 10-4 run.
Musgrove sank one of two free throws to bring the Friars to down 35-33 with 42 seconds left. Then Holy Cross threw away the ensuing inbounds pass. But St. Anthony's simply could not score and was forced to foul the rest of the way.
Heroes: Holy Cross sophomore Taylor McCarley, a big guard at 5-foot, 9-inches, came off the bench to score seven of her nine points in the fourth quarter. She was the difference down the stretch.
The Friars got an all-around performance from . The 6-foot, 2-inch senior had 8 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks.
Turning Point: Holy Cross ripped off an 10-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters, the last on a bucket by freshman Jillian Dunston, to take a 28-24 edge. West Virginia recruit Akilah Bethel scored six of her eight points in the third quarter for Holy Cross. The Friars would recover. But the momentum belonged to the visitors.
Quotable: "Typical first game," St. Anthony's coach Ken Parham said. "There were some points in the game where we did some really nice things. Then there were points where it was the first game of the year. We just didn't execute when we needed to. We have a lot of work ahead. It was encouraging some of the things we did. But on the other side, there's a lot of work to be done because we were inconsistent."
Bottom Line: St. Anthony's was actually scheduled to play another opponent. But when no one was willing to face a loaded Holy Cross team, Parham shuffled the deck. Holy Cross was big and physical and the Friars more than held their own. But turnovers and rebounding doomed St. Anthony's. Season openers are where the kinks get worked out. Guess what? The Friars, despite returning four starters from last season's 24-7 championship run, have lots to work on between now and their next game.
Key Stat: The Friars committed 25 turnovers in the game, a big reason why they lost. But even more remarkable was the fact that 16 came in the first half when St. Anthony's actually led 20-14.
Who's Next: St. Anthony's @ St. Mary's, Dec. 8, 5:45 p.m.
Girls Basketball – St. Anthony's Turkey Tip-Off
Teams………........………..1…..2…..3.....4 – F
Academy Holy Cross…...5.....9…12...12 – 38
St. Anthony's……........14..…6…..4...10 – 34
HC: Bethel 3-2-8, Thompson 1-1-3, Johnson 1-2-4, Montgomery 1-1-3, Wilson 2-0-4, Swails 1-0-2, McCarley 3-2-9, Dunston 2-1-5. Totals: 14-9-38. SA: Musgrove 4-1-10, Maurer 2-4-8, Williams 2-0-4, M. Impellizeri 3-2-8, Kelly 1-1-3, White 0-1-1. Totals: 12-9-34. Three-pointers – HC: McCarley; SA: Musgrove.