(Dec. 7, 2018) After losing twice during the regular season to the Delmarva Christian Royals, then in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game last year, the Worcester Prep girls’ basketball team was chomping at the bit to battle the team again on Wednesday.

“They remember the sting of losing by two points in the championship game last year and getting beat by that team three times,” Prep Coach Scot Dailey said during preseason. “They’re looking for redemption.”

The Lady Mallards accomplished their goal and avenged last year’s losses. Worcester won the 2018-19 season opener Wednesday night, 38-31, in Berlin.

The Mallards held a 6-5 advantage at the end of the first quarter. The Royals pulled ahead in the second quarter, and at halftime, the visiting squad led 17-12.

During the break, Dailey told his players to focus on playing defense and said that would lead to better offense.

“I think we were too amped up, a little too pumped up, in the first half. They really wanted it. They just tried too hard,” Dailey said. “They were a little jittery. We just couldn’t score.”

The Mallards came back in the third quarter, outscoring the Royals 18-7.

“I was proud of their effort in the second half. [The] defense was better and on offense we moved the ball better,” Dailey said. “They looked a lot more confident in the second half, more poised. In the second half they looked like a different team.”

Freshman Lily Baeurle led Worcester with 13 points, 10 of which were scored in the third quarter. Baeurle also had two assists and two steals.

Senior captain Gracie Gardner tallied nine points and seven rebounds. Sophomore CC Lizas chipped in with six points, eight rebounds and four steals. Senior captain Hailey Merritt added four points and five rebounds.

“It was exciting to get the win,” Dailey said. “It was nice to get that monkey off our backs losing to them three times last year, and in 10 days, we’ll play them again.”

Worcester will face the Saints Peter & Paul Sabres today, Friday, at 4:30 p.m. in Easton.

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