(Feb. 21, 2020) The Worcester Prep girls’ basketball team had a big lead early over the Salisbury Christian Jaguars during the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference semifinals on Wednesday in Berlin, but toward the end of the game, the Lady Mallards had to fight for the victory.
“First off, Salisbury Christian did an amazing job. It was the best they played against us all year,” Prep Coach Brian McDermott said after the Mallards’ 58-56 victory. “The coach had them ready to go. My hat’s off to them.”
McDermott also praised his players’ performance.
“The Worcester girls again just stood tall,” he said. “We finished the game with young girls [because] some of our seniors got in foul trouble, some of our regulars got in foul trouble and we were able to finish the game with underclassmen, so they just gained a lot of experience in the playoffs, which is great.”
Worcester jumped ahead 22-4 in the first quarter.
Salisbury outscored the Prep team 22-9 in the second quarter. At halftime, the Mallards led 31-26.
The Jaguars chipped away at the home team’s advantage in the third and with 2:30 left in the quarter, they tied it up, 37-37.
Prep sophomore Lily Baeurle hit a two then a three, to give the Mallards a 42-37 advantage.
Salisbury scored, but then junior CC Lizas netted a three to put Worcester up, 45-39. After three quarters, the Berlin squad led 45-42.
The Jaguars pulled ahead 49-46 in the fourth, but then Prep senior captain Carly Hoffman made a shot and was fouled. She hit her free throw and the game was tied, 49-49, with 3:30 left to play.
Shortly after, Hoffman was fouled again. She sunk both free throw to give Worcester a 51-49 advantage.
From that point, the Mallards held on to the lead for the victory.
Baeurle scored 18 points and had six rebounds and five assists. Hoffman chipped in with 13 points, six steals, three assists and three rebounds.
Lizas contributed with 12 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
No. 2 Worcester will battle the No. 1 Delmarva Christian Royals today, Friday, at 5 p.m. in Georgetown, Delaware.
“We’re definitely the underdog. They’ve beaten us twice,” McDermott said. “They have a really talented team, so our girls are just going to have to do what they do well and that’s put pressure on other teams and make them make mistakes.”
The Mallards will also need to execute better on offense than they previously did against the Royals, he added.
“I’m expecting a real grudge match with them,” McDermott said. “They’re a great team also, but our girls are hungry and they’re ready to go.”