After an 0-4 start, St. Paul's School for the Girls had been on a roll, winning six of its last seven games.
And Gators' coach Jim Stromberg said his team practiced like a champion over the last week.
So what happened in the first quarter against Indian Creek Wednesday night stunned Stromberg.
"We hadn't give up 18 points in a quarter all year," the coach said.
The Gators never recovered from the poor first quarter in a 50-41 loss in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference game.
"There were parts of the game where we were coming back," said Stromberg, whose team dropped to 1-2 in the league. "We just couldn't get over the hump. I thought we would have a run in us if we didn't turn over the ball or get some stops. They just made some plays."
Indian Creek combo guard Cydni Cole, a transfer from St. Frances, made more plays than anyone.
The 5-foot-4 combo guard finished with 20 points, six steals, six assists and five rebounds. She had 16 points in the first half.
"She is the best player in the (11-team) league," Indian River coach Jamie Cook said of a player who is averaging 27 points. "Tonight, we had American University (scouting) here. Monday, UMass was at the game."
St. Paul's received solid performances from senior forward Haley McDonnell (12 points, 6 rebounds) and sophomore forward Jillian Randolph (5 points, 15 rebounds).
The Gators stuggled to score in the first few minutes as Indian River (7-3 overall, 4-2 league) jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
St. Paul's cut the lead to 12-11 on Randolf's free throw before the Eagles closed the period on another 6-0 run.
Indian Creek led 24-16 at halftime and by as many as 13 points in the third quarter.
The Gators trimmed the margin to seven three times in the second half — late in the third quarter and twice in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter.
Eboni Dorsey (9 points), Kaci McNeave (8) and Sharon Hull (7) accounted for the remainder of St. Paul's points.
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