Ocean City Today

Good showing for WP during tourney

Lady Mallards top Mardela, but lose to Gaithersburg; players enjoy competition
By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Jan 04, 2018
Courtesy of: Scot Dailey The Worcester Prep girls’ basketball team made its debut in the 37th annual Governor’s Challenge tournament, held Dec. 26-30 in Salisbury.

(Jan. 5, 2018) Worcester Prep girls’ basketball Coach Scot Dailey was pleased with his players’ overall performance during their debut in the 37th annual Governor’s Challenge tournament, held Dec. 26-30 in Salisbury.

“The experience was great,” he said. “I think the girls enjoyed it.”

The Prep squad faced the Mardela Warriors in first-round action, last Friday at University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne. The Lady Mallards pulled out a 44-40 victory.

“That was a tough Mardela team. It was one of the best games we’ve played all year,” Dailey said. “I thought we played great defense and we executed our offense perfectly for three quarters.”

Mardela led 13-12 at the end of the first quarter. Worcester battled back in the second quarter and at halftime, the Berlin squad was ahead 25-18. The Mallards held a 41-29 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

Dailey said the Prep team tried to slow things down in the fourth quarter and got out of rhythm. The Warriors outscored the Mallards 11-3 in the final quarter but it wasn’t enough to take over the lead.

Junior captain Gracie Gardner led Worcester with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Junior captain Hannah Merritt chipped in with 10 points, four rebound and four blocks. Her twin sister, Hailey, also a team captain, contributed nine points. Junior Chloe Ruddo added eight points.

Dailey praised the defensive play of junior Delaney Abercrombie.

“She played exceptional defense on their star player, Kayla Cook. She held her to 10 points,” he said.

In the other half of the bracket, Gaithersburg took on Snow Hill and won 60-10 to advance to the championship round with Worcester.

The two teams went head-to-head last Saturday at University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Gaithersburg won the game 56-25.

“They’re a 4A [classification] school, they’re more experienced, bigger, stronger. We were just outmatched,” Dailey said. “Our girls played hard and definitely gained some respect. We just didn’t have enough in the tank to compete with Gaithersburg.”

Gardner was the top producer for Worcester with 10 points and six rebounds. Hailey Merritt added six points.

Worcester is slated to return to regular-season competition today, Friday, when the Delmar Wildcats come to Berlin for a 5:30 p.m. game.

The Mallards are looking to avenge the 48-44 loss they suffered to the Wildcats during the Delmarva Christian Tip-off Classic, held Dec. 1-2, in Georgetown, Delaware.

“We need to play better defense. They scored nine threes in that game, five in the fourth quarter,” Dailey said. “We’ll come up with a game plan to stop those threes. I think you’ll see a lot better showing from us this time.”

Worcester will travel to Centreville on Monday for a 4 p.m. match-up with the Gunston Day Herons. When the two teams met on Dec. 4 in Berlin, the Mallards won 40-23 over their Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference opponent. Worcester is 5-1 in conference play.

“We’re looking forward to the second half of the season and trying to separate ourselves from the rest,” Dailey said.

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