In a game that always carries bragging rights and popularity, McDonogh 35 defeated Warren Easton 53-42 on Tuesday night.
With just over two minutes left in the game, Bryson Gresham’s second dunk helped the Roneagles clinch the win. Gresham scored eight points in the final quarter to propel his team to victory.
“I knew my team needed a spark, and I just tried to give it my all,” the 6-foot-8 Gresham said .
“I had foul trouble early, and it made me play cautious. Once we hit the last quarter, I felt like myself again. That dunk was big for me and my team.”
Gresham led the Roneagles with 16 points. He added nine blocks and 10 rebounds, despite the four fouls.
Warren Easton could not find an answer for the Roneagles’ full-court defense. They forced nine second-half turnovers and led by as many 12 points.
McDonogh 35 coach Kevin Sanders was pleased with his team’s adjustment.
“We had to find our groove defensively and it took awhile to do so,” Sanders said. “Once that happened, it allowed us to run freely and take chances. We wanted to stay aggressive, and I think our kids bought into that.”
The Eagles’ Kevin Hicks accounted for almost half of his team’s points with 20. He also got it done registering six steals and four rebounds. The senior guard is adjusting to a new role.
Coach Neil McKendall said his team lacked discipline.
“We came in with a plan to work on their big guys down low and get them into foul trouble, but that never happened,” McKendall said. “We just got away from our initial plan and started to settle for jump shots. Those decisions really hurt us.”
McDonogh 35 came out with the momentum after halftime and posted a 12-0 run.
Nakeem Martin led the way with five quick points to stretch the lead to 12. He finished with seven points.
Victor Gonzales also came up with two crucial steals that led to points. He ended up with seven points, and Juwan Jones added another 10 points.
Despite Hicks’ play, the Eagles could not feed off the home crowd. Warren Easton never led.
Joseph Foucha and Charron Camouche combined for nine steals and scored 10 and six points for the Roneagles.