Carroll Christian’s girls basketball team had suffered just one loss all season prior to entering Tuesday’s Maryland Christian Schools Tournament Division 1 quarterfinal against Mount Airy Christian Academy.
That defeat came against the Lions, 44-28 on Dec. 8, and the Patriots were looking to get back on the winning end. However, the Lions proved too tough to get by a second time and they used an 18-4 first quarter burst to stay on top and cruise past the Patriots 72-47 at the Glenwood Recreational Center in Woodbine.
Junior guard Sydney Wooden led Carroll with 16 points and added five rebounds and two assists. Camille Echegoyen, also a junior guard, scored 15 points and contributed six rebounds.
Mikaela Martin and Bethany Delph each grabbed five boards apiece for the Patriots (20-2).
“The credit goes to Mount Airy,” Patriots coach Matt Reisberg said. “They came out ready to play and they were owning the boards. They were smart with the ball and were hitting their shots. We came out a little sluggish so that’s the reality of it; the credit goes to them because they were ready to play.”
Reisberg coached at Carroll Christian for 11 years prior to leaving to start Mount Airy’s program in 2008. He coached there for five years and led the Lions to three Maryland Association of Christian Schools Athletic Conference championships, a MCST title in his first year there, and a National Association of Christian Athletics tourney title in 2012.
Before his stint at Mount Airy, Reisberg led Carroll Christian to six MACSAC crowns. He returned to Westminster after the 2013 season and captured back-to-back titles with the Patriots in 2018 and 2019.
His career record is 399-155 in 22 seasons between both schools.
“That’s why you coach, for the privilege of molding lives and the benefits,” Reisberg said. “It’s about little successes and it’s not about wins and losses. It’s about, ‘Are we better today than we were yesterday?’ That’s the greatest privilege, to work with them and mold them in life to help them get better.”
Mount Airy mounted a 32-4 lead during the first half and built that lead to 36-12 at the break.
senior center Kyrstin Bowen led the Lions with 31 points, and 13 were scored in the third quarter as the Lions limited the Patriots to just five points in the frame.
The Patriots scored 30 points in the fourth quarter, paced by 13 points from Wooden. They were still no match for the Lions, but Reisberg was impressed with his team’s fourth-quarter performance nonetheless.
“That is the heart of the girls,” Reisberg said. “They are going to give it everything that they have and they’re not going to quit — they’re not going to back down. We don’t play for the scoreboard, we play for success and success is 100 percent, 100 percent of the time.
“It doesn’t matter what the score is, you just keep giving it everything you’ve got and that’s the heart of these girls.”
Carroll Christian (47): Camille Echegoyen 15, Sydney Wooden 16, Mikaela Martin 6, Bethany Delph 4, Emily Wright 2, Sophia Wedge 4.
Mount Airy (72): Erin Eppich 16, Kyrstin Bowen 31, Val D’Ambrosio 8, Caitlyn Gilbert 9, Kyleigh Blubaugh 2, Julia Bowen 4, Gianna Hegler 2.