Kolby Brown credited her Winters Mill girls basketball teammates for passing her the ball and trusting her to take crucial shots.
Brown, a Falcons senior guard, paced the team with 17 points and she hit five 3-pointers in a close 44-40 victory over Manchester Valley in Manchester on Friday. Falcons coach Dave Wynne commended Brown for her shooting accuracy and said she truly “stepped up” against the Mavericks.
“I think we came out really strong,” Brown said. “We had a bad loss at Oakland Mills last night, we had a lot of momentum to come back and get that win together. We had something we wanted to prove and I think we came together as a team tonight and did that.”
Brown added five rebounds, two assists and a steal to her statistical performance. Senior guard Erin Snyder added nine points, four rebounds and four assists. McKenzie Zepp and Allison Louque contributed five rebounds apiece for the Falcons (12-9, 8-4 Carroll County Athletic League).
Mavericks junior guard Amelia Saunders scored seven straight points to help the hosts tie the Falcons 10-10 in the first quarter. Winters Mill pulled ahead by four to close out the frame up 14-10. A 3 from Brown in wide open space gave the Falcons a boost, but MV 24 responded with a 3 to trim the deficit 17-13.
WM used a 7-0 run to mount a 27-17 lead late in the second quarter until a 3 from Mavs junior guard Josey Shaffer cut the Falcons’ run. The Falcons held on to take a 27-20 lead into the break.
Snyder notched a steal and drove the ball down the court, handed it off to teammate Natalie Berry, who assisted Snyder in a layup that pushed the Falcons ahead by 13. Saunders hit a 3 to bring the Mavs within 10, 35-25 and Savannah Flater sank a free throw before the quarter ended.
The Mavericks outscored the Falcons 14-9 in the final frame, thanks to seven points from junior guard Kassidy Johnson. Johnson sank a 3 and hit two free throws during an 8-0 scoring run that brought the Mavs within two, 40-38, with less than three minutes to go.
A timeout was called, but points from Berry and Zepp kept the Falcons ahead of the Mavericks (8-12, 2-9).
“I was proud of everyone’s effort who stepped on the floor, we had a lot of people step up and take roles that they really haven’t had all season,” Mavericks coach Heather DeWees said. “Losing our starting point guard, obviously Josey [Klingenberg] is instrumental on defense and offense, she's a team leader and a captain so it was a huge hit for us but it speaks of the desire to win and our improvement over the whole season.”
Saunders led the Mavs with 17 points and Johnson contributed 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Tessa Boswell added eight rebounds and two assists.
The Mavs will close out the regular season at Liberty on Monday. Winters Mill suffered a loss at Oakland Mills on Thursday that snapped a three-game win streak for the Falcons, but Friday’s regular season finale showed signs of improvement in just 24 hours.
“Our girls come together as a team and they know when it’s time to go,” Wynne said. “They stick together and they play hard…We like to try to control the things we can control. Some of the things we have to continue to work on is being able to defend for an entire game and not have lulls where we struggle to basically give the effort and rebound and do those important things to get the win.”