UNIONTOWN — Winters Mill’s girls basketball players have to shoot at least 10 free throws and report it to their team manager before they can take a water break, Falcons guard Kolby Brown said.
The players continue to build on that each day, and it showed Friday against Francis Scott Key — the Falcons made 20 of 24 from the free-throw line in a 61-51 county victory.
“I think it’s mostly a mental thing,” senior guard Hannah Stitely said. “You really have to focus and lock in on them and if you do that, you’ll be fine.”
Brown, a junior, led the team with 22 points, five rebounds and four assists. Stitely added 14 points and Amaya Wells contributed with eight points and six rebounds. Brown said the team’s success is attributed to the trust they have in one another.
FSK led by four, 11-7, at the end of the first, and Bailey Mathias’s 3-pointer in the second brought the Eagles up, 20-16, with 4:03 to play. Brown scored nine of her 22 points in the second quarter as the Falcons used a 13-0 run to gain a 29-20 lead at the break.
Stitely carried the basketball down the right side of the court and drove straight to the basket alone, smiling from ear to ear as she scored on a layup. With 14 points, Stitely, who also added four steals and three assists, proved to be quite a force for the Falcons as they continued to build their lead over the Eagles
“In practice, we always talk about how to keep going until they can stop you, so when people crash, there’s always someone open and when you draw the [defender], it gives your teammates a better chance,” Stitely said.
Eagles junior guard Sara Warthen and Cornick each landed two free throws with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter to trim the deficit, 45-37. Falcons senior Addi Hill and Brown hit free throws, and Brown scored four more points, before Falcons coach Dave Wynne called a time out with just over two minutes to play.
The trio of Brown, Stitely and Wells combined for the team’s final 14 points scored to secure the victory.
“I think it was our tenacity and how we just kept going back out and getting the ball and not getting down,” Wells said. “When we get down as a team, it’s hard to climb back up but I thought our energy just kept rising to the occasion.”
FSK held a ceremony at halftime to recognize former principal Louis Beard, the first African-American principal at a high school in Carroll County. From now on, the Eagles will play in a gymnasium bearing his name. Kennedy Cornick, Beard’s granddaughter and a member of the Eagles, stood alongside her parents as her mother spoke during the ceremony.
Cornick thrives under center and the junior notched six points and eight rebounds for the Eagles (4-15, 2-10). Karla Stonesifer scored a team-high 16 points and Mathias notched 13.
Winters Mill (61): Hannah Stitely 14, Erin Snyder 5, Natalie Berry 6, Addi Hill 6, Kolby Brown 22, Amaya Wells 8.
Francis Sott Key (51): Karla Stonesifer 16, Rachel Wright 6, Bailey Mathias 13, Sara Warthen 10, Kennedy Cornick 6.
Halftime: Winters Mill, 29-20.
JV result: Winters Mill, 39-26.