The scouting report Mount de Sales girls basketball coach Trish Armstrong had on Old Mill said nothing about 3-point shooting. Turns out the Patriots shoot from out there a lot.
Four 3-point baskets helped the No. 8 Patriots take a 19-point lead in the first quarter to spark a 49-36 win over the No. 15 Sailors at the Public vs. Private Challenge on Saturday morning at McDonogh in Owings Mills.
Destiny Galloway opened the game with tha 3-pointer and by the time Hannah Franklin and Mikiyah Mallett closed the quarter with back-to-back 3s, the Patriots (9-3) had run their lead to 26-7.
“We were very intense and had a lot of energy,” Franklin said. “Before the game, we had a talk to come out firing and be very intense as a team. We worked hard on defense and brought that intensity.”
“We were taking good open shots, moving the ball around, playing pretty good defense, getting back and I guess I shouldn’t have told them that at the end of the first quarter,” Smith said with a laugh.
The Patriots started the second quarter with some poor shots and Mount de Sales took advantage, closing the lead to 13 before Old Mill responded with a nine-point run to finish the half with a 35-13 lead.
The Sailors, who turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter mostly against the Old Mill press, chipped the lead down to 15 in the third quarter with a seven-point run, but missed shots and a key turnover kept them from getting any closer.
“When we were making the run in the third quarter, we had four opportunities for those fast breaks and we had three missed layups and one where the ball was overthrown a little bit,” Armstrong said. “We outscored them 14-10 and there were four missed opportunities.”
The Sailors (11-6) also had trouble containing Old Mill’s 6-foot-2 center Sydney Faulcon, especially in the first half when she scored nine of her 14 points. Syd Skalstad, Mount de Sales’ 6-1 forward, did not start after missing practice Friday, but she helped contain Faulcon in the second half.
The inability for the Patriots to sustain their first-quarter momentum had a lot to do with youth, Smith said. Franklin is the only senior starting and several sophomores see substantial playing time.
“I know it’s going to happen,” Smith said. “We’ve done it almost every game to where we’re not playing four quarters. At times, I’m mixing a lot of sophomores in, so I guess that’s to be expected somewhat.”
Still, the Patriots had plenty left to hold off Mount de Sales and build their lead to 21 early in the fourth quarter. Faulcon’s follow shot two minutes into the final quarter gave the Patriots a 48-27 lead.
The Sailors, led by 13 points from Abby Kuhn, just could not overcome the Patriots’ first-quarter blitz.
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“Everyone told us they didn’t shoot from the outside, so we didn’t focus on the outside,” Armstrong said. “We actually went and watched them play Howard and they weren’t shooting from the outside. We switched to a zone, which helped, but then we didn’t make free throws.”
For the Patriots, the defending Anne Arundel County champions, the chance to play a private school team like Mount de Sales, one of the better teams in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference, is a welcome switch from league play.
“It’s more competitive,” said Franklin, who played for A Conference team St. Vincent Pallotti before transferring to Old Mill, “and I think as we play more competitive teams, we get better and we realize more stuff. When we play different teams, especially the private school teams, I think we learn more things about each other and we work on that.”