Lady Mallards finally top STPP Sabres

(Dec. 21, 2012) The Worcester Prep girls’ basketball team’s final game before a two-week holiday break was against its biggest Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference rival, the Sts. Peter & Paul Sabres.

The Lady Mallards traveled to Easton last Friday to battle the Sabres and after a less than stellar start, the visiting squad turned the momentum in its favor to win the competition 35-32.

“I have never beaten them in my four years at Worcester,” said Coach Page Rogers. “It was a big win for the team.”

The Sabres led 9-4 after the first quarter on their home court. Rogers was less than pleased with her team’s performance.

“We were awful. We were so flat, but that’s textbook. Every time we play Sts. Peter & Paul, the first half is never good,” Rogers said. “We were lazy and chasing them on defense and on offense we were flustered and we were throwing the ball away.”

The Mallards turned things around in the second quarter, outscoring the Sabres 8-4.

Sophomore Sophie Brennan threw the ball from mid-court and it went in the basket at the buzzer. The Prep squad headed into the halftime break trailing 13-12.

“That was a huge boost for us,” Rogers said of Brennan’s basket. “It got everyone pumped up.”

In the second half, Rogers said, the Mallards made some offensive adjustments and the players were communicating better on defense and fighting harder for rebounds.

Worcester scored 13 points in the third quarter and held the Sabers to seven.

“It took us about two minutes to get in an offensive flow, and then we had six back-to-back shots,” Rogers said. “Molly Marshall had a three pointer in the third, which was huge. She scored nine points in the third quarter.”

With one quarter to play, the Prep team led 25-20. The Sabres outscored the Mallards 12-10 in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to overtake their opponent.

“We got really lucky. Sts. Peter & Paul was 0-for-13 on foul shots in the fourth quarter,” Rogers said. “The second half was much better, but it was an ugly game for both teams. There were a lot of turnovers and it was an aggressive, sloppy game. It’s always a big mental game. For the seniors, it was their first time beating them.”

Marshall, a senior, led Worcester with 11 points and seven rebounds. Fellow senior co-captain Meredith Smith, had six points and four steals.

The Mallards are 7-0 as they head into the holiday break. The squad’s next game is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4, against Delmarva Christian in Berlin.

Rogers said she plans to hold practices over the break, which is something the team hasn’t done in the past. The girls all want to practice during the vacation, she said.

“We’ve got the confidence, which is something we haven’t had before,” Rogers said. “The girls are becoming better players under pressure. Usually, when games are close, we get nervous and come out on the losing end, but not this year. We need to continue to improve and not plateau.”

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