(Jan. 11, 2019) The Worcester Prep girls’ basketball team scored victories over the Salisbury School Dragon last Saturday and again on Wednesday.

“Saturday, I thought the first half was the best basketball that Worcester Prep girls have played in four years,” said Prep Coach Scot Dailey. “We just played great defense, we passed and dribbled, and didn’t turn the ball over and finished. We were incredible.

“The second half I think we got complacent, just like we did tonight,” Dailey added, following Wednesday night’s match.

The Lady Mallards trounced the Dragons, 61-11, last Saturday in Salisbury.

Worcester outscored Salisbury 24-2 in the first quarter. At halftime, the Berlin team was on top, 40-6. The Mallards increased their advantage to 48-8 by the end of the third quarter.

Senior captain Gracie Gardner led the Mallards with 12 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and five blocks.

Senior captain Hailey Merritt had 12 points and CC Lizas added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Senior Chloe Ruddo chipped in with nine points. Senior Hannah Merritt and junior Emily Copeland (eight rebounds, four assists and three steals) both scored eight points.

The Mallards didn’t play as well on Wednesday in Berlin as they did last Saturday, according to Dailey, but the squad still pulled out a 40-8 victory to improve to 10-1 on the season.

“I thought they out-hustled us. I thought they were more aggressive than we were,” Dailey said. ‘We’ve been talking all year, don’t worry about the score and don’t worry about who you’re playing You’ve got to be the aggressor, you’ve got to play hard no matter what the score.

“Defensively, we weren’t very good. We didn’t give up many points, but we didn’t get many steals, we didn’t get any fast breaks, and we didn’t play very well in the half-court offense either,” he continued.

Worcester shut out Salisbury 14-0 in the first quarter. The home team led 20-4 at halftime. By the end of the third quarter the Mallards had gained a 29-6 advantage.

Gardner (nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks) and Hailey Merritt (four steals) scored 10 points apiece. Ruddo added six points.

“I didn’t think we came out with that fight,” Dailey said. “We got the win. We’re 10-1. It’s exciting, but we got to continue to get better.”

Worcester will host the Salisbury Christian Jaguars today, Friday, at 5 p.m. in Berlin. The team’s seniors will be recognized before the game.

“We need to play like we did Saturday the first half,” Dailey said. “We need to be focused, disciplined, we need to not turn the ball over, handle pressure and we need to anticipate on defense a little more and we’ll be good.”

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