With its shots not falling in the fourth quarter, Severna Park had to do the little things to pull out a win over St. Mary’s on Thursday.
After Julia Ryan scored down low to give the Falcons a six-point lead 30 seconds into the fourth, they didn’t hit a field goal the rest of the game. They hit some key free throws and pulled down some timely rebounds over the final two minutes and escaped with a season-opening 38-31 victory over the Saints.
Ryan had 12 points and nine rebounds to lead the Falcons, who led by as many as 13 points early in the second half.
“We know we need to shoot better than that,” Severna Park coach Kristofer Dean said. “We were hanging on for dear life.”
Though the Falcons shot just 40 percent from the line for the game and 50 percent in the fourth quarter, they hit six of their final eight over the final 46 seconds to pull away from a one-score game. In addition to grabbing an important offensive rebound with 34 seconds left, Jess Albert went 4 for 4 from the line in the final minute to help the Falcons hang on. She finished with six points and eight rebounds.
“We knew if we kept working we’d get something to go our way,” Dean said. “I’m real proud of them.”
After the teams were tied at 8 after the first quarter, Severna Park (1-0) gave up just two points in the second quarter and went into halftime with a 16-10 lead. The Falcons kept pounding the ball inside in the third and went up by 13 when Ryan scored down low off a nice feed from Rachel Spilker.
St. Mary’s (1-2) started to chip away at the lead and went into the fourth down by just four. Ashley Roy, who finished with eight points, hit a pair of 3-pointers a minute apart and Claire Richardson scored four points in the quarter to give the Saints some life.
The Saints missed their chance to take over the game in the fourth though, when like the Falcons, they hit just one field goal in the quarter and scored their other five points from the line. They were down by just a point with 2:40 left in the game, but scored just one point the rest of the way.
Thursday’s offensive performance was nothing like Tuesday’s when the Saints put up 69 points in a victory over St. Stephens-St. Agnes.
“I thought we did a pretty good job on the boards, but we just couldn’t shoot the basketball,” said St. Mary’s coach Chuck Miller, who was going for his 300th career win. “You have to be able to score.”
Richardson and Karry Kelliher each added seven points for St. Mary’s, which will try to get Miller win No.300 on Friday when the Saints host Key.
Lena McLaughlin had a team-high 16 rebounds (11 offensive) to go with her four points for the Falcons, who will host Southern on Friday.