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Boys play well in first half, but shots don’t fall for WP

(Dec. 19, 2014) The Worcester Prep boys’ basketball team had a solid first half, but the Mallards struggled in the second half against the St. Thomas More Ravens on Monday in Berlin.

The Prep squad went ahead 3-0 early in the game, but at the end of the first quarter, St. Thomas More led 12-5.

The Mallards chipped away at the Ravens’ lead and pulled to within one point, 19-18, with freshman Tucker Brown’s three pointer about two minutes before halftime. St. Thomas More then went on a 7-0 run to go into the halftime break on top, 26-18.

“In the first half, we played really well. We defended well, broke their press well, and actually played well on offense. The problem was, we just could not make a shot,” said Prep Coach Keith Geiger. “We had nice looks at the basket, open shots, that we just simply didn’t make. We were 4-for-26 in the first half on two-point field goals. We need to start converting on the easy points if we are going to be successful.”

The visiting Ravens controlled the third. They increased their advantage to 45-22 with one quarter to play. St. Thomas More outscored Worcester 22-7 in the fourth quarter to win the game, 67-29.

“In the second half, our frustration continued. They had some good players and they started to convert more efficiently, and I thought we fell apart,” Geiger said. “We lost confidence in the third quarter, we didn’t get back on defense. I was happy with our first half effort, but upset and a little embarrassed the way we played in the third quarter.”

Brown finished the game with eight points for Worcester. Patrick Petrera, a sophomore, scored seven. Senior captain Erik Zorn logged 10 rebounds and tallied three points.

Worcester is scheduled to compete in the annual Governor’s Challenge, held Dec. 26-30, at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury.

The Mallards will play the North Dorchester Eagles on Monday at 9 a.m. They will also play on Tuesday, Dec. 30 either at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. depending if they get a win over North Dorchester.

“This is the first time we are playing in the tournament. I hope that we can continue to improve as a program, and one way we do that is by playing meaningful non-conference games,” Geiger said. “I would love to continue to play in the tournament every year, make it an annual thing. It’s fun for us, and good for the kids. I would like to make a good showing, but whatever happens, it will be a great experience for me and the students.”

Worcester Prep junior Elio Telo soars to the basket during Monday’s game against St. Thomas More in Berlin.

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