After prevailing in a taut overtime battle against fellow Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference rival Mount de Sales, 43-39, St. Paul's School for Girls hosted A Conference contender Roland Park Country School on Thursday evening in Brooklandville and discovered that the Reds are for real.
Roland Park won going away, 55-28, behind 15 points from senior Daisy Alaeze, a Virginia Commonwealth University recruit.
"With eight freshmen, we got a little education tonight," St. Paul's coach Jim Stromberg said. "I just hoped we learned something from it."
The Reds bolted to a 33-14 halftime advantage and then blanked the Gators into the fourth quarter while building the margin to 48-14.
Substitute senior point guard Betsy Angel scored all of her 10 points in the final period as the Reds wrapped up a satisfying season-opening triumph.
"We played with intensity early," Roland Park coach Scott Buckley said. "The problem is keeping that intensity throughout the game. We're young, so we're still learning how to play hard."
Junior point guard Beth Kelly and freshmen forwards Lindsey Edwards and Michala Clay added eight points each for Roland Park.
St. Paul's senior forward Katie Kreps was a thorn in the side of the Reds, grabbing rebounds and hustling for loose balls while totaling eight points.
"She (Kreps) was killing us inside," said Buckely, whose team will meet Washington-area power Elizabeth Seton on Saturday at the same site. "Our post kids are used to playing against kids who play with their backs to the basket. St. Paul's players play facing the basket, so it took a little while to adjust."
Roland Park: (55) Betsy Angel, 10; Serene Mirza, 3; Christa Reese, 2; Francesca Whitehurst, 1; Daisy Alaeze, 15; Lindsey Edwards, 8; Beth Kelly, 8; Michala Clay, 8.
St. Paul's: Katie Kreps, 8; Curtia Williams, 3; Haley McDonnell, 5; Eboney Doresy, 4; Katerina Stavrakis, 2; Sharon Hull, 2; Kaci McNeave, 2; Sara Moeller, 4; Jillian Randolph, 1.