ball

(Feb. 14, 2020) The Worcester Prep boys’ basketball team edged out the Holly Grove Eagles, 49-45, in a tight battle on Monday in Westover.

“We fought back and we won another one on the road,” said Prep Coach Keith Geiger.

Worcester led 18-7 at the end of the first quarter.

“We got off to a great start,” Geiger said. “Mason [Brown] had four threes, and we were playing good defense.”

Holly Grove changed up its defense in the second quarter and it was successful. The Eagles outscored the Mallards, 11-1, in the second. At halftime, the Berlin squad held a 19-18 advantage.

“It took us a while to adjust to their defense,” Geiger said.

During the halftime break, Geiger said they discussed how to break open Holly Grove’s zone and how to best get inside.

Holly Grove put 11 points on the board in the third quarter, while Worcester netted eight. At the end of the quarter, the Eagles were ahead, 29-27.

“The third quarter we still didn’t quite get the hang of it, but by the fourth quarter we got the idea and we were looser,” Geiger said. “When we get down in the third quarter, we have the confidence we can come back. Then we fight back in the fourth. They seem to play better when it’s a tough game.”

The Mallards chipped away at the Eagles’ advantage in the fourth quarter. With about five minutes remaining in the game, the Berlin squad went on a 17-8 run.

The Prep team scored 22 points in the fourth, while Holly Grove had 16.

“We made smarter decisions with the ball, we ran our offense more effectively, we put pressure on them and forced them to make plays on defense,” Geiger said. “A couple of their guys fouled out and that opened things up more for us.”

Brown, a junior, led Worcester with 26 points. He also had five assists and four rebounds.

“He had a great game,” Geiger said. “He’s just been playing better and better. He was feeling it tonight.”

Sophomore Brice Richins contributed 12 points and four rebounds.

“It was a fun game to watch,” Geiger said. “They battled back and kept their composure until the end.”

Worcester finished as the third seed in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference. The Mallards will travel to Salisbury on Wednesday to play the second-seeded Salisbury School Dragons at 4 p.m.

Worcester won the first matchup with Salisbury during the regular season, 48-32. Salisbury earned a 63-38 victory in the second.

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