2013 Public vs Private Challenge,  Saturday, December 21st

The 2nd annual Public versus Private school challenge took place on Saturday, December 21st at the Institute of Notre Dame in Baltimore city. 12 schools from across the state of Maryland competed in six games to determine bragging rights for the year. The teams split the games right down the middle at 3 each so we will to wait another year for bragging rights.

Mervo (Mergentheler Vocational) 61, Mercy 58 in double overtime.

The first game of the day was a barnburner. Mervo took a 9-7 lead after one quarter behind some strong play by guard Jasmin Henley. They opened the lead up to 25 to 16 at the half thanks to some hot shooting by Tishon Gibson. This battle of two East Baltimore schools heated up early in the fourth quarter when Mercy turned up their pressure. Mervo was up 40 to 31 after 3 quarters. Mercy capitalized on several Mervo turnovers and when Mervo's point guard Henley fouled out they were able to force overtime. Both teams struggled to score in the first overtime, but Mervo jumped out to an 8 point lead in the second extra session. That proved to be enough to hold off another furious rally by Mercy. Henley and Gibson both scored 11 points for Mervo while Jakelle Patterson and Brionna Little added 9 each for the Lady Mustangs. Mercy was led in scoring by guard Sierra Davis who dropped in 15 points, including a huge 3 pointer down the stretch. Senior guard Kristina Bayton scored 11 and freshman Morgan Cobb added 10 for the Magic. This gave the public schools a 1-0 lead.

Mercy Guard Sierra Davis

Mervo's End'Dya Barbes at the line for two.

 South River 43, John Carroll 33

South River, a public school in the Edgewater area of Anne Arundel County took on the John Carroll Patriots of Belair in Harford County in the day's second game. Both teams struggled with their shooting in this one as South River took a 10-7 lead after the first quarter. John Carroll settled in and tied the game at half time. The game was close throughout the third quarter until a late flurry in the last minute put South River ahead 34 to 26 after 3. That late 3rd quarter run was enough for South River to pull it out as John Carroll could not close the gap in the fourth. Molly Folks led South River with 7 points and Rita Watson scored 10 for John Carroll. Publics are up 2-0.


Notre Dame Prep 65, C. Milton Wright 51

The Notre Dame Prep Blazers are from the Towson area of Baltimore County. Coach Katie Marks had them prepared and ready to go for C.Milton Wright which is a public school in the Belair area of Harford County. The Blazers jumped out to a 20-7 lead after one period thanks to the scoring of sophomore Marisa DeLuca and junior guard Marissa Varnado. NDP extended their lead to 40-22 at the half and were able to maintain that margin for most of the 2nd half. NDP's duo of Varnado (19 points) and DeLuca (16 points) were too much for C. Milton Wright whose top scorer was six foot forward Emma Hanner. She scored 20 points while Alexis Johnson chipped in 10.  Privates get their first win and it is now 2-1.

Archbishop Spalding, 43, Westlake 40, overtime

Once again two teams struggled to score. The Spalding Cavaliers of Severn in Anne Arundel County were able to muster just enough offense to get by Westlake, which is a public school in the Waldorf area of Charles County. Spalding had leads of 20-19 at the half and 28 to 22 after 3 quarters. Some hot shooting by Alexus Willey helped Westlake rally in the fourth to force overtime. Spalding regained the lead and held on in the extra session thanks to sophomore Madison Gorman who scored 14 points in the game and had four 3 pointers. Westlake's high scorer was Nialla Curtis who scored 10 while Willey chipped in 9 for the losing team. This private schools pull even with this win at 2-2.


Milford Mill Academy 60, Bishop McNamara 41.

Milford Mill, a public school in Baltimore county, features two of the best guards in the area in George Mason recruit Qierra Murray and Dionna White. Bishop McNamara is located in Prince George's county and is led by first year coach Frank Oliver Jr. The first half featured both teams playing physical defense and feeling each other out enroute to a 26-20 score in Milford Mill's favor at the half. The Millers turned up their pressure in the second half and were able to force the Lady Mustangs into turnovers and capitalize. Milford cruised to a 60-41 win behind 17 points from Murray and 16 from White. Senior guard Kelli Smoot added 13 points. McNamara's leading scorers were guards Kholby Oliver and Moriah Crisp who each scored 8 points. This puts the public schools ahead 3-2.

Institute of Notre Dame 40, Meade 27

 The final game of the day saw the host school and their first year coach Doug Able even things up for the day by stifling Meade high school of Anne Arundel county. IND is located in East Baltimore city. Meade's top player Alexis Jackson picked up two first quarter fouls and sat out the rest of the half. Without Jackson to worry about, IND was able to shut down Meade's offensive attack with senior Morgen Caution protecting the paint and helping the Indians take a 19-10 halftime lead. Meade was just able to score enough as IND kept a working margin throughout the second half and evened the series for the day at 3 games apiece. Shana Williams led IND with 9 points and 10 rebounds and Morgen Caution added 8 points and 3 blocks. Sophomore Bria Gates scored 11 for Meade.


Jasmin Henley, Mervo

Tishon Gibson, Mervo

Sierra Davis, Mercy

Kristina Bayton, Mercy

Molly Folks, South River

Rita Watson, John Carroll

Marisa DeLuca, Notre Dame Prep

Marissa Varnado, Notre Dame Prep

Emma Hahner, C. Milton Wright

Madison Gorman, Spalding

Nialla Curtis, Westlake

Alexus Willey, Westlake

Qierra Murray, Milford Mill

Dionna White, Milford Mill

Kelli Smoot, Milford Mill

Moriah Crisp, Bishop McNamara

Kholby Oliver, Bishop McNamara

Bria Gates, Meade

Brooke Fields, IND.

Shana Williams, IND.

Morgen Caution, IND.