St. Paul’s took on Maryvale in a home Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference basketball game Tuesday night and pulled away for a 57-43 win.
Gators guard Esprit Cha scored a game-high 17 points with Destiny Ryles (16 points) and Laurie Satchell (15) joining her in double figures.
“I think it helped spread the defense out,” Cha said of the trio’s ability to score. “Whenever we have an open shot, our coach preaches us to take it and trusts us in our shooting. If we practice it enough, then we can spread the defense out, which helps the guards and the forwards have more space when driving to the basket.”
Playing point guard, Ryles was the catalyst for the offense, finding Cha in the corner for four 3-pointers. She was also able to convert three three-point plays and made five total free throws.
Ryles also has experience playing with Maryvale’s Claire Neff and was able to give her team advice on how to attack the Clemson commit’s style of play.
“Basically, I just knew when I was coming in that their main player, Claire [Neff], I used to play with her,” Ryles said. “I knew what she could and couldn’t do. Coach would tell us to attack her, get her to foul us, and that’s what I did.”
A win over Maryvale (11-7, 6-4) continues an undefeated season in conference play for St. Paul’s (18-3, 10-0). Coach Pat Conrad has preached to his players the importance of keeping the momentum through hard work, and he and his staff have had to get creative during practice with the Lions down two players.
“We have competitive practices,” Conrad said. “We’re at a disadvantage with only nine players, so we can’t go five-on-five. My coaching staff and myself have to get creative on which drills to do, but we always try to make every single thing a competition. We preach and practice that if you play hard against each other, you’re making yourselves better, you’re making your teammates better and you’re making the team better.”
Maryvale took a 10-8 lead to open the game, as Neff made two free throws and found Lexi Smith and Audrey Allan for open 3-pointers. Taryn Giles also scored a bucket.
Ryles began heating up in the second quarter with six of her 16 points. Cha added seven points to give St. Paul’s a 22-18 halftime lead.
At one point in the fourth quarter, Maryvale cut the deficit to just eight. However, the trio of Cha, Ryles and Satchell put the game away with 15 combined points in the final quarter to secure the victory.
“We scored six straight points and cut the lead to eight early in the fourth quarter, called a timeout and they scored six straight points to push the lead back to 14,” Maryvale coach Alex Miller said. “It was a game of runs. We definitely struggled putting the ball in the basket tonight. It wasn’t our best shooting performance, it wasn’t our best finishing performance.
“They do a really good job of executing. It’s a reason why they are undefeated in conference play and overall have a very good record because they execute. They did some things really well on the offensive end, put the ball in the hoop and on the defensive end, they made it tough for us.”
SP (18-3, 10-0): E. Cha 17, D. Ryles 16, L. Satchell 15, A. Sawyers 6, L. Johnson 2, M. Beale 1
MP (11-7, 6-4): C. Neff 10, R. Fick 9, E. Knapp, T. Giles 4, R. Vicendese 4, A. Jackson 4, L. Smith 3 A. Allan 3