Francis Scott Key played a close first half at home against Winters Mill Friday night, but utilized a dominating third quarter to pull away for a 58-49 victory.
The Eagles (11-1, 6-0 in the Carroll County Athletic League) scored 24 points in the first half, but started the third quarter on a 16-2 run. That stretch would put enough distance between them and Winters Mill (5-5, 4-2) to remain undefeated in county play.
“We talked at halftime and throughout this season that we have these high peaks and then these low valleys … we were clicking there to start the third quarter, but then we had a little valley there and Winters Mill is a great team that plays hard and they cut it down, but we were able to pull it out,” Eagles first-year coach TJ Develin said.
Leading the charge in the third quarter for the Eagles were Savannah Brooks, Karla Stonesifer, and Bailey Mathias, each scoring at least six points in the frame. Stonesifer had to sit out most of the second quarter because of early foul trouble, but came back strong with 11 second-half points.
Brooks finished with a game-high 21 points and paced FSK throughout the game as she has done throughout the season. Brooks was the only player to score in every quarter, and had two quarters with six or more points. And she credits Stonesifer and the other seniors for helping her succeed to start her high school career.
“It helps a great bit because they are teaching me how high school basketball goes and they are teaching us how to play as a team,” Brooks said. “We all work very hard in practice and try to stay focused, but when it comes to these big wins we like to have a lot of fun.”
The Falcons couldn’t find any offensive rhythm early — they didn’t score until there were 3 minutes, 38 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. However, as the game progressed Winters Mill had stretches of consistent scoring. Unfortunately for the Falcons, one of those stretches was not at the beginning of the second half.
Despite going down by as many as 18 points, Winters Mill kept fighting and eventually got the game within single digits for much of the final quarter. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the big deficit.
Erin Snyder led the Falcons with 11 points, and Kolby Brown added nine points coming off the bench.
For Develin and Brooks it has been a great start to the their first year in the FSK girls basketball program, but Stonesifer and the other seniors can attest that this Eagles team is on the brink of something very rare.
FSK has not won a county title in girls basketball in more than 30 years, but with the win over Winters Mill it is halfway to being back at the top of the standings.
Stonesifer knows that this is not typically where the Eagles are halfway through county play, and she is enjoying her team’s early success.
“We have always been the underdogs,” Stonesifer said. “We’ve always heard people say, ‘Oh, we’re just FSK,’ but now our team has been built so much and we aren’t the underdogs anymore, right now we’re on top and it feels awesome.”