NEW WINDSOR — The first official girls basketball home game for Springdale Prep started well for the Lions, who played in front of a decent crowd inside the former New Windsor Middle School gymnasium and led visiting Linden Hall at halftime.
The Lions’ opponent from Lititz, Pennsylvania spoiled the event, however, with a strong second half en route to a 39-33 victory. Despite the loss, the home team described the event as a learning experience.
“It makes us learn a couple lessons,” said sophomore guard Savannah Brooks, who came to Springdale from Francis Scott Key for its inaugural season. “It gives us some things to work on, things to progress on.”
Brooks had 14 points to lead Springdale (3-6), which used an aggressive style on defense to fluster Linden Hall early on. The visitors re-grouped, however, and fed their frontcourt players in the second half.
Mercy Ademusayo, a 6-foot-5 junior center, netted 10 of her game-high 16 points in the third quarter in helping Linden Hall outscore the Lions 19-4 in that frame. Springdale missed 10 field goals and committed six turnovers in the third, and Linden Hall closed the period on a 9-0 run.
Ademusayo got to the basket with more ease, and her teammates fed her the ball against a smaller Springdale lineup. Still, the Lions battled back — they trailed 39-24 with 3 minutes, 26 seconds to play before going to a pressure defense and ending the game on a 9-0 run of their own.
Senior guard Sydnea Parry had 10 points for the Lions, and coach Brian Chesley said his girls need to maintain consistency to stay in games such as Thursday’s.
“Keep our foot on the gas. I think we let them back into it," Chesley said. “But, it’s a learning experience. We’re competing, and that’s all it’s about.”
Springdale had control against St. Timothy’s last week, but game ended in similar fashion with the home team finding success inside and prevailing 58-51 in overtime. The Lions built a 15-point lead in the the second quarter in that contest, and they led 21-15 early in the second Thursday when Brooks sank a shot.
Springdale didn’t score again in the quarter, however, and didn’t recover. But the Lions exuded hustle throughout the content, something Chesley said his players are showcasing most nights. A good trait for a first-year team and its young coach.
The Lions traveled last weekend to Pottstown, Pa., for The Hill School’s annual tournament. They opened their season with a loss to McDonogh, but earned wins over Oldfields (57-40) and the hosts (63-26) to take the title.
Brooks, a Times first-team all-county player last season, said the Lions have jelled since getting together for the first time back in September. Former Winters Mill player Tamyra Timmons, a junior, complements Brooks as a starter, and Springdale’s roster features others with club and travel experience.
There aren’t any more home games on the schedule, which is set to conclude Feb. 18 against Potomac School in McLean. Virginia. The Lions get a road trip to Linden Hall on Feb. 6 as well.
“Coach really stresses being disciplined,” Brooks said. “Whatever he says basically goes, so if he’s pushing us up and down the court we know we’ve got to get up and down that court. We’re just going to keep pushing, keep the intensity, and keep running.”