The Delmarva Christian girls’ basketball team fell to Sts. Peter & Paul 46-35 in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference tournament final Feb. 17 in Georgetown. The Royals defeated the Sabres 57-35 in last year’s conference final.
The game was electric from the start, as the two powerhouse teams battled before a deafening but respectful crowd. The two teams traded leads throughout the first half, with the score tied 19-19 at the break. The Sabres took over in the second half, outscoring Delmarva Christian 11-8 in the third quarter before their tenacious defense held the Royals to just seven points in the fourth quarter.
“Defense wins games,” said Sts. Peter & Paul coach Katie Murphy. “Ainsley [Bell] is an amazing player. It has been such a honor to watch her play. We knew she was a really big threat and we had to do what we could to shut her down. We had to play smart basketball to win this game. I’m really proud of my girls.”
“I’m proud of our team,” said Bell. “We played better with our reaction time than the last time we played them. We have two more weeks of hard work to prepare for the state tournament, so that’s our new focus. We are going to finish out the season strong and head into the tournament with momentum.”
Bell led the Royals with 15 points. Junior Journey Handy chipped in 11.
“We worked hard,” said junior Mia Elliott. “I think having this loss will make us prepare and have the mentality to keep getting better down the road.”
“I’m proud of my girls,” said Royals coach Jedidiah Roach. “I got to give it to the Sts. Peter & Paul team. They played tough. Together we improved on some of the defensive schemes the other coaches are throwing at us. Ainsley improved her game with their defense. She only had four the last time we played them. I’m blessed to have her on my team.”
Sabres freshman Avery McCall finished with 14 points to lead Sts. Peter & Paul.