MICDS Girls Clobber Clayton In First Round Holiday Tournament Action
Rams rattle 'Hounds with tough full-court pressure defense, and cruise to big win in opening round of the MICDS Girls Holiday Tournament.
If MICDS girls basketball coach Scott Small could've guessed beforehand how well his Rams would play in their first round game at the MICDS Holiday Tournament against Clayton High on Friday, he couldn't have dreamed of a better performance.
The Rams, who hadn't done anything but practice all week, looked like a well-oiled machine Friday night against the Greyhounds at the McDonnell Gymnasium.
And they looked especially fantastic on defense, where their relentless full-court pressure caused all kinds of problems for Clayton, and led MICDS to a dynamic 66-15 victory over the 'Hounds.
"You know we have to give Clayton credit for that," Small said. "We played them over at their place, a week and a half ago, and it was a seven-point game at halftime. So our kids knew, we we're going to have to do a real good job on the 'press' tonight. And they did that."
Boy did they ever. The Rams forced a myriad of Clayton turnovers with their pressure, and at least until deep into the third quarter, MICDS had actually caused more turnovers than shots allowed.
"When that 'press' was on, they really had trouble," Small said. "We did a good job of rotating, and we got a ton of turnovers early, and I think that was the difference in the game."
MICDS brilliance on defense allowed the Rams to get out to a huge start, which included an 18-2 lead after one quarter and a 43-8 edge at halftime.
In the third quarter, Clayton managed to get some shots up, but the Rams were still better, outscoring the 'Hounds 20-7 in that period for a 55-13 lead going into the fourth.
With the mercy-rule clock going, the final period breezed by, but nothing was going to keep MICDS from claiming its biggest win (in terms of winning margin) of the season.
The Rams won a game earlier this season against Barat Academy by 41 points, but the 51-point bulge on Friday, easily was the biggest of the season, and ranked among the widest margin of wins in school history.
Offensively, sophomore Maya Howard led MICDS with 13 points, while teammates Taylor Baur and Rachel Thompson added 12 points apiece in what is now the Rams' sixth straight victory.
In fact, MICDS is now 8-1 on the year, and at least on Friday night, looked like it might be one of the best teams in the area this year.
"I tell you what, and I try not to get emotional about it, but I'll take these kids any day of the year," Small said. "Maybe I'm just thinking about it because of what happened in Connecticut last week, but I love these girls, and I love this team.
"These kids are special. They take care of each other, and it's all about team. And as a coach, when you don't have to be the one preaching that -- and they do it themselves -- it just makes my job easier."
The victory also advanced the Rams to the semifinal round of the MICDS Tournament, where they will play Parkway Central (which defeated Villa Duchesne on Friday), on Wednesday, December 26, at the McDonnell Gymnasium at 4:30 p.m.
The other semifinal that night will feature top-seeded Westminster Christian taking on Oakville. That game will tip off at 3 p.m.
Score by Quarters ........... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final Score
Clayton ........................... 2 ... 6 ... 5 ... 2 -- 15
MICDS ........................... 18 . 25 . 20 . 11 -- 66
Clayton -- Nina Murov 6, Lacei Sams 5, Sophia Rotman 2, Carmen Plannells 2.
MICDS -- Maya Howard 13, Rachel Thompson 12, Taylor Baur 12, Natalie Singer 8, Caroline Militello, 8, Cameron Jackson 5, Josie Cusworth 5, Liz Lewis 3.