McCallie Rips St. Benedict To Stay Perfect

Reese, O'Donohue Pace Tornado's 61-38 Win

Friday, January 6, 2012 - by Larry Fleming

Unbeaten McCallie looked like it hadn’t played a basketball game in 14 days.

For a half, that is.

Leading St. Benedict at Auburndale by six points at the midway point of Friday’s game, Blue Tornado coach Dan Wadley made some tactical adjustments, senior wing C.J. Reese lit a fire under his teammates and McCallie stormed past the visiting Eagles with an impressive second-half performance to win, 61-38.

In an earlier girls game, Girls Preparatory School whipped St. Benedict, 70-36, outscoring the visitors 28-4 in the fourth quarter.

“I expected some rust,” said Wadley, whose Blue Tornado (12-0) last played on Dec. 23 when they beat previously undefeated Tyner, 48-39, for the Best of Preps tournament championship at Arts & Sciences. “I thought we started very slow, but give St. Benedict some credit. Their defense was good. We made some adjustments and talked about playing our style. I thought in the third quarter we played like we wanted and made a run on them.”

Nursing a 28-22 halftime lead, McCallie ran off 11 straight points starting the third quarter – junior post Terrance O’Donohue scored the final seven in the spurt, including two dunks – to open a 39-22 advantage with 3:20 showing on the clock.

“It felt like forever because we hadn’t played in such a long time and we started off real bad,” said Reese, who finished with a team-high 18 points. “At halftime I had a big talk with my team and I was fired up. I let them know we weren’t playing like we could. We gave them (Eagles) a lot. We had to play harder. I’m glad they responded well and we did what we had to do in the second half.”

And much more.

John Estees started McCallie’s third-quarter blitz with two free throws. Reese followed with one of his patented driving layups. O’Donohue, who scored 16 points and has 59 in the last four games, drilled the Blue Tornado’s lone 3-pointer. He followed that with back-to-back dunks.

The Eagles’ broke a 4-minute scoring drought on senior Elijah Ford’s jumper from the left wing but the Blue Tornado was watching St. Benedict disappear in the rear-view mirror by that time.

“They jumped on us,” said coach Caleb Marcum, whose Eagles dropped to 6-7 on the season. “They pressured us and we just threw it to them. Their pressure is very good and we got a little jittery, let it get to us and turned it over way too much. We had more than 25 turnovers. You don’t have a chance doing that.

“They did a good job with adjustments defensively by getting into the passing lanes and we just buckled under the pressure.”

The Eagles tailed 42-29 going into the fourth quarter, but their offense wasn’t much better in the final eight minutes than it was in the third quarter.

McCallie led, 44-32, with 5:35 left in the game when the Blue Tornado slugged the Eagles with another 11-0 run that opened a commanding 23-point lead with 2:16 left. Again, the Eagles went four-plus minutes without scoring a point.

“I thought we did a good job defensively,” Wadley said. “At one point when I started subbing, we had given them a total of 12 points in the second half. We jumped their screens, pressured their screens, and I was very pleased with the way we rotated.”

McCallie could have hammered St. Benedict even harder, but made just 7 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter. McCallie hit 14 of 29 free throws in the game while the Eagles attempted just seven free throws, hitting five.

“When you go into an opposing gym you’re not going to get calls,” Marcum said. “You have to adjust to the officials. They’re not going to adjust to you. We didn’t do a very good job of that.”

Reese and O’Donohue were the only McCallie players in double figures, but Cordell James was close with nine points.

“C.J. and Terrance work well together,” Wadley said. “When C.J. is on he’s tough and usually getting to the rim. When Terrance is on, he’s a load to handle.”

Senior Rodney Clarke led St. Benedict with a game-high 20 points. He scored all six points for the Eagles in the first quarter and had 13 of his team’s first 15 points.

The Blue Tornado won’t have a chance to gather any rust before playing again. They travel to Nashville for a Saturday game against Ensworth to open their East/Middle District schedule.

“When you only practice two days before a game like this one, you tend to start slow,” said Wadley, whose team played on five consecutive days before taking a holiday break. “But we wanted to play this game before we played Ensworth because that’s our first region game. From here on out we’ll play a lot of back-to-back games.”

Reese had a different opinion of the scheduling.

“If I could have scheduled it, I wouldn’t have put it in front of Ensworth,” he said. “But any game we can win we’ll take it. We have to put this one behind us and go ahead and play Ensworth. They’re a good team, but I don’t give them a lot of credit because we’re a good team, too.”

Girls Preparatory School 70, St. Benedict 36: The game wasn’t really close once it started.

GPS (14-1) jumped out to a 26-9 first-quarter lead and was up 38-17 at halftime.

The Bruisers, who won the girls’ title in the Best of Preps tournament last month, let off the gas pedal and were outscored, 15-4, in the third quarter.

However, the 28-4 fourth-quarter onslaught unleashed on the Lady Eagles was just too much.
The Bruisers had an inside-outside thing going all night, scoring effectively in the paint and bombarding the visitors with 12 3-pointers.

Chadarryl Clay led the Bruisers’ attack with a game-high 29 points, including a whopping seven 3-pointers. Brianna Farris scored 14 points, with three 3-pointers, and Tory Kemp0 had 11 points.

Ensworth (8-7) was led by DeErica Blakely with 13 points.

St. Benedict 6 16 7 9 – 38
McCallie 12 16 14 19 – 61

St. Benedict (38) -- Rabasa Turner 4, Jake Jeffrey 6, Rodney Clarke 20, Cody Quon 4, Elijah Ford 4, Alex Ashlock, J.P. Stoddard, Tyler Currie, Josh Lerma, Anthony Deneyri.

McCallie (61) -- C.J. Reese 18, John Estees 3, Terrance O’Donohue 16, Jalen Kellum 6, Will Fredebeil 3, Cordell James 9, Jorden Williams 2, No. 24 4.

3-Point goals: St. Benedict 3 (Clarke 2, Jeffrey 1); McCallie 1 (O’Donohue).

St. Benedict 9 8 15 4 – 36
Girls Preparatory School 26 12 4 28 – 70

St. Benedict (36) -- Bailey Coppedge 3, Paige Williams 7, Devin Chadwick 5, Theresa Stoddard 4, Erin Peel 2, Neely Van Frank 2, DeErica Blakely 13.

Girls Preparatory School (70) -- Chadarryl Clay 29, Jeneh Perry 6, Tory Kemp 11, Tayana Fernandez 2, Brianna Farris 14, Kelby Crownover 2, Katie Morgan 4, Arabi Spears 2.

3-Point goals: St. Benedict 2 (Coppedge, Chadwick); Girls Preparatory School 12 (Clay 7, Farris 3, Kemp 1, Morgan 1).

(E-mail Larry Fleming at

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