Ocean City Today

WP girls’ basketball team ends year strong

Dailey ‘couldn’t have asked for anything more in the final week of the season’
By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Feb 22, 2018
Courtesy of: Diane Brown The Worcester Prep girls' basketball team poses for a photo after last Friday's Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game against Delmarva Christian in Georgetown, Delaware.

(Feb. 23, 2018) The Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship girls’ basketball game between Worcester Prep and Delmarva Christian was a battle from start to finish. But in the end, the Royals pulled out a 44-42 victory over the Lady Mallards, last Friday in Georgetown, Delaware.

“We came up one play short. They made one more play than we did,” Prep Coach Scot Dailey said.

Worcester led 10-6 at the end of the first quarter. Delmarva Christian took over in the second quarter and at halftime, the home team was ahead 21-18. After three quarters, the Mallards held a 30-29 advantage.

With about four minutes remaining in the game, the Royals led by six points, but the Mallards fought back.

With about 18 seconds on the clock, Worcester had the ball with the score tied 42-42. Delmarva Christian gained possession in the final seconds and scored to go ahead by two. The Mallards, out of timeouts, were unable to get the ball down the court to score with just five seconds left to play.

Junior captain Hailey Merritt led Worcester with 17 points. She also had five rebounds, four steals and four assists. Junior captain Gracie Gardner chipped in 12 points. She tallied five rebounds and four blocks.

Dailey was pleased to see Worcester fans fill the stands.

“It was an unbelievable atmosphere. It was great attendance for an away game,” he said. “It was rocking in there. It was really special. It was a fun environment.”

Worcester advanced to Friday’s championship game after defeating the Salisbury Christian Jaguars, 36-26, two days earlier in Berlin.

“I thought both games – the semifinals and the finals – they played with as much passion, energy, effort and focus then they had all season,” Dailey said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more in the final week of the season.”

Dailey said the Mallards came together as a solid unit at the end of the season.

“It feels like [during] the last two weeks we really bonded well,” he said. “They had a competitive spirit and refused to lose.”

The Mallards won 14 games this season and lost six.

“We did that with a pretty much brand new team. Coming into the season, we didn’t know what to expect with such a new team,” Dailey said. “I’m super proud of them. I really enjoyed the road we went on. It was a really fun year and I look forward to next year and getting all these girls back.”

Dailey said he was also thankful for his assistant coaches, Katie Oxenreider and Aaron Wyatt, and what they brought to the program.

Gardner, Merritt and sophomore Carly Hoffman received All-Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference honors. Junior captain Hannah Merritt took home an honorable mention distinction.

The Mallards voted for the team MVP and the award went to Hailey Merritt. She led the squad in points this season with 205 and assists (32). She was second in steals (51).

Gardner finished second in points, tallying 183. She was the top rebounder (156) and recorded the most blocks (41).

Dailey presented the Coaches Award to Hoffman. She led the team in steals (61) and was third in assists (23).

Junior Delaney Abercrombie was awarded Most Improved. She logged 27 assists this season – the second highest on the team.

Hannah Merritt finished second in rebounds (89) and blocks (31) and third in points (104).

Sophomore captain Emily Copeland was third in rebounds (71), steals (42) and blocks (22).

The team will graduate only two players.

“We’ll have 12 girls back  – the top 10 points per game and minutes per game are all coming back,” Dailey said. “Top to bottom, we should be really good. I think we have the chance to be one of the best Worcester Prep girls’ teams in [the history of the program].”

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.