Another slow start proved costly for the Francis Scott Key girls, as they saw their two-game winning streak end with a 58-43 loss against visiting Catoctin last night in Uniontown.
The Eagles (3-6 and 3-2 in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League) opened the game missing their first 10 shots. By the time Tina Smith hit a layup with 2:49 left in the first quarter, Catoctin (8-2, 5-1) had already built a 12-0 lead.
"We have a tendency to come out intimidated, and it takes us a few minutes to realize we can play with these teams," said Francis Scott Key coach Brian Hollingsworth.
"Had we shown a little more consistency in the first quarter, it may have been a different game."
It was the inside play of Jessie McIlrath, the outside shooting of Vicky Seiss and a tight press that did most of the damage for Catoctin.
McIlrath and Seiss combined for 39 points on the night and helped Catoctin take a 26-11 lead at the half.
The Eagles weren't hurting only on the scoreboard at that point.
Starters Shelley Smith, Amber Smith and Erin Murphey all left the game at one time or another due to injuries.
Amber Smith and Murphey returned for the second half, but Shelley Smith was taken to the hospital with a leg injury.
X-rays were negative.
The Eagles came out strong in the second half with an 8-1 run and got to 32-25 after Murphey hit a pair of free throws with 2:48 left in the third quarter.
After Catoctin got the lead back to 38-25 late in the quarter, Murphey hit two more free throws and Paula Koontz converted a three-point play with three seconds left to pull Key back to within eight at 38-30.
It was Catoctin, however, that went on the 11-0 run to start the fourth and put away the Eagles.
"We had some younger kids playing who weren't used to that kind of situation," Hollingsworth said.
"That's a time when Shelley Smith is usually there. Even in defeat, I saw some things to be pleased with."
Despite leaving the game a second time in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, Murphey led the way with 16 points, 10 steals and nine rebounds.
Maureen Ritcey also reached double figure with 10.