BERLIN- A new era in Worcester Prep girls’ varsity basketball opened on Tuesday with an impressive 38-28 win over a pesky Holly Grove team as the Mallards pulled away for good in the fourth quarter.
The Worcester girls team opened its 2007-2008 campaign on Tuesday with new coach Sharon Repass at the helm, and while the Mallards were a little sluggish at the outset, they came away with a satisfying 10 point win over the Eagles. Neither team played all that well at the outset and Worcester led by a score of just 6-3 with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Worcester senior center Melanie Leiner got the offense rolling near the end of the period with a running jumper in the paint and another senior, Marie Enderle, nailed a big three-pointer to extend the lead to 11-3 as the first quarter wound down. Holly Grove scored on a fast-break lay-up at the buzzer to cut the Worcester lead to 11-5 at the end of one.
Nearly three minutes ran off the clock in the second period before Leiner converted a lay-up with just over five minutes remaining in the period. Worcester scored another basket to go up 15-5 before Holly Grove finally broke the ice in the second quarter with a lay-up with just 1:40 remaining in the first half to cut the lead to 15-7. Even having scored just two points in the entire second quarter, Holly Grove was still in the contest when Leiner was fouled on a three-point attempt in the waning seconds of the period. Leiner made all three of her free throws and Worcester took an 18-7 lead into intermission.
Enderle scored the first basket of the second period to put Worcester up 20-7 before Holly Grove finally got something going on offense. The Eagles scored on three straight possessions to cut the lead to 20-13. After a Leiner free throw, Holly Grove scored on two more possessions to cut the lead to 22-15. After a steal and a fast-break lay-up, Holly Grove had cut the lead to just five points at 22-17 with nearly three minutes remaining in the third, but that was as close as the Eagles would get. Enderle scored two quick baskets for Worcester to extend the lead back to nine points at 27-18 as the third quarter expired.
Holly Grove continued to battle in the fourth quarter but could not chip away the Mallards’ lead. Worcester turned up the defense a notch, forcing several turnovers late in the game. The Mallards made their free throws down the stretch and pulled away for a 38-28 win in their season opener for their new coach.