“Please go in, please go in, please go in.”
This was the only thing that occupied Savannah Brooks’ mind in the seconds it took for her 3-point shot to fall through the basket with less than 20 seconds left on the clock. Teammate Bailey Mathias scored a 3 about a minute earlier to draw Francis Scott Key even with county rival Westminster.
The ball was handed off to Brooks, a freshman, after the Eagles called a timeout, and she took her shot with ease to secure the 40-37 victory Tuesday over the host Owls.
“Coach was trying to switch up defenses and trying to get us moving and he was trying to get us to not foul as much because we were in a little bit of foul trouble,” Brooks said. “Even if we had to mismatch, we really had to buckle down and pull ourselves together. We had to communicate a lot because they started getting up on us so we had to keep our heads together and really buckle down on defense.”
Brooks scored a team-high 13 points, Kennedy Cornick scored eight points and Sara Warthen sank seven for the Eagles (14-1, 8-0 Carroll County Athletic League).
The Eagles jumped out to an 8-0 lead, thanks to points from four different players. Owls senior forward Zoe Costley’s layup trimmed the deficit 8-2 with 3:35 left in the frame. FSK senior guard Sara Warthen took a 3-point shot from near center court and sank it at the buzzer to give the Eagles a 13-4 lead.
Jillian Pumputis sparked an 8-0 scoring run for the Owls that brought them within one, 13-12. The Owls held the Eagles to five points in the second quarter and used the third to mount a comeback. A pair of points from Costley helped the Owls inch closer until a 3 from Brooks put the Eagles up 21-16.
FSK led by four at the end of the third frame.
The teams shared 3s back and forth between Pumputis, Warthen and Owls sophomore Sophia Diehl that kept the host team within one until Costley’s layup gave the Owls their first lead, 29-28, with 5:20 left in the game. The Owls were now on a 6-0 run, but a 3 from Brooks trimmed the Owls’ scoring spurt by two.
Costley found the basketball one last time amidst defensive pressure from FSK before Mathias tied it up.
“That last play just showed a ton of growth in our girls and just knowing to not force anything and be patient and just kind of let the game happen,” FSK coach TJ Develin said. “When I saw Savannah get it, she’s one of our best one-on-one players, I yelled ‘Attack’ and she just went and did her thing.
“Thank God it went in, it felt so good watching that go in.”
Costley had an impressive night for the Owls with a double-double (19 points, 14 rebounds), along with three steals and three assists. Pumputis notched four rebounds, two assists and two steals, and Diehl had eight boards for the Owls (10-5, 5-3).
The Eagles have not lost since Dec. 27, and Tuesday’s victory over Westminster marked the team’s eighth straight. They are 2-0 against the Owls this season, and getting closer to their first county title since 1987.
“Our team really has good chemistry on and off the court,” Brooks said. “I think that helps, I think that really really helps with us on the court because if we make a bad shot or a bad pass, we all have each other’s backs and we back each other up.”
Francis Scott Key (40): Karla Stonesifer 5, Devyn Schuman 2, Savannah Brooks 13, Bailey Mathias 5, Sara Warthen 7, Kennedy Cornick 8.
Westminster (37): Lauren Saltz 2, Jillian Pumputis 6, Alina Nowosielski 2, Sophia Diehl 8, Zoe Costley 19.
Halftime: Francis Scott Key, 18-12.
JV result: FSK, 43-26.