Defense, hustle and 31 combined points from the St. Paul’s junior backcourt of Destiny Ryles and Alex Sawyer proved to be the difference in the Gators’ 60-40 victory at No. 8 ranked Catonsville on Monday night in girls basketball action.
Ryles led all scorers with 18 points and classmate Sawyer added 13 for the Gators (5-0).
Catonsville (0-1) won the opening tap and Sophi Wrisk assisted Gabby Douglas for a layup six seconds into the game.
Wrisk picked up her second foul 55 seconds into the first quarter, but the Comets still had a 6-3 lead after a three-pointer by Aysia Ferguson (10 points) and free throw by Rianna Saunders with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
That’s when Ryles made a game-changing three-pointer and was fouled with 4:18 left in the opening quarter.
That 23-4 2017-18 squad graduated three starters, including Jasmine Dickey (University of Delware) and Jameila Barrett (Norfolk State University).
“We are a work in progress and the first thing is we have to defend,” Mohler said. “There wasn’t one aspect of the game we did well. We didn’t run our offense and we gave up 60 points, so we didn’t really defend.”
The Comets finished with just 10 made field goals.
“It’s the first game and a long season and we’ve just got to get better and better and better and hopefully we will,” Mohler said. “Give credit to them. They ran their stuff and it showed.”