Mallards fall short in ESIAC finals

(March 7, 2014) The Lady Mallards’ height, or lack thereof, was a disadvantage for the Worcester Prep girls’ basketball team during the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game against the Sts. Peter & Paul Sabres Feb. 21 in Easton.

“The girls did a great job on defense, but it was hard for us being a much shorter team then Sts. Peter & Paul,” said Prep Coach Simona Holland after the Mallards’ 47-35 loss to the Sabres.

The score was tied 8-8 at the end of the first quarter. The Sabres outscored Worcester, 13-3, in the second to go into halftime with a 21-11 advantage.

Both teams tallied 11 points in the third, and with one quarter to play, the Sabres led 32-22.

The visiting Mallards netted 13 points in the fourth quarter, while the home team added 15 to clench the title.

“The girls played really hard and never gave up. The difference was made in the second quarter when we did not take many shots and scored just three points,” Holland said. “In the fourth quarter we came back and we were down by four points, but then in the last two minutes of the game they scored eight points, so they won by 12.”

Senior captain Kristen Shriver led Worcester with 15 points. Sophie Brennan, a junior, logged 10 points and senior captain Lilly DiNardo scored five.

“It was a great game, very physical, and I would like to congratulate our girls for the great results this season and thank them for their hard work and dedication,” Holland said.

The Prep squad finished the season with a 14-3 record. In 17 games, the Mallards scored 700 points, which is a huge accomplishment. The Worcester squad has consistently relied on its stellar defense to help win games over the years, but the Mallards have not always produced offensively in past seasons.

In her first year as head coach, Holland spent a good amount of time focusing on the team’s offensive play.

Brennan was the top producer with 190 points. Shriver had 138 points and DiNardo scored 95. They were named to the ESIAC First Team. DiNardo earned second team accolades and junior Natalie Twilley received honorable mention distinction.

“We did not achieve our ultimate goal to win the championship, but for our first season together I think we all did an awesome job and we are looking forward to next season,” Holland said. “I really enjoyed working with this group of girls. They were a great and hard-working team and we became like a family.”

The team will lose six seniors to graduation in May–DiNardo, Shriver, Meg Lingo, Frankie Willing, Cynthia Delaney and Alie Greer.

“I would like to thank them for everything they did for the team. Next year we will have to work hard so we can have a strong team,” Holland said.

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