(Dec. 14, 2012) The Worcester Prep girls’ basketball team never faltered during last Friday’s game against the Salisbury Christian Jaguars, battling every step of the way to a 36-32 victory in Berlin.
“That game was all about heart,” said Prep Coach Page Rogers. “They left it all on the court. They gave it everything they had. I’m so proud of them.”
After falling behind 6-4 in the first quarter, the Lady Mallards picked up their level of intensity to gain a 14-10 advantage at the halftime break.
The Jaguars scored five unanswered points at the start of the third quarter to pull ahead 15-14.
Sophomore Cecily Sass broke a 19-19 tie, sinking a foul shot with 2:08 remaining in the quarter. Senior co-captain Meredith Smith hit a free throw, and then junior Frankie Willing intercepted a Salisbury pass and scored, boosting Worcester’s advantage to 23-19. With one quarter to play, the Mallards had a 28-22 advantage.
The Jaguars cut the lead to two points (32-30) with 1:46 left in the contest, but the home team held on for the win.
“We had tons of steals and we caused them to turn the ball over. They had a hard time getting the ball inbounds,” Rogers said. The Mallards had 27 steals in the game. “We were moving the ball really well in the first half, then they changed their defense on us in the second half and we got a little jittery. And then when the game got close, we got a little jittery, too.
“It all came down to our defense,” she said, “and they played their hearts out.”
Sophomore Sophie Brennan was Worcester’s top scorer with nine points. Five of those were scored in the fourth quarter. Smith tallied nine points and 12 rebounds.
On Monday in Greenwood, Del., the Mallards scored 32 points and held the Greenwood Mennonite Flames to seven.
Worcester led 7-1 after one quarter and went into the halftime break with an 18-3 advantage. The visiting Mallards outscored the Flames 10-1 in the third quarter.
“We started off slow for the first time this season. It was like we had cement blocks on our feet, and our shooting was awful,” Rogers said. “On offense, we were flat and we were not as quick as usual on defense. Steals got us ahead on our fast breaks. We were lucky to pull out a win.”
All 10 Mallards scored. Brennan led the charge with eight points.
The Prep squad will head to Easton today, Friday, to play its Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference rival, the Sts. Peter & Paul Sabres.
“Whenever we play them, it’s a battle,” Rogers said. “I think we’re going into that game in a good place.”