Girls’ comeback falls short against Lions
A win last Wednesday against Moravian Academy would have put the Salisbury girls basketball team in prime position for a Colonial League playoff spot. Instead, however, a loss put the Lady Falcons behind the eight ball a little bit more than they had been at the start of the day.
Despite a rally in the fourth quarter that cut Moravian Academy’s 10-point lead to just a field goal with two minutes to play, the Lions had built up enough of a lead to hold on. After Salisbury (8-6 in Colonial League) got within 38-36, the Lions (12-3) scored the last four points to secure a 42-36 victory.
The loss puts Salisbury in a tie with Wilson for the last playoff spot following Wednesday’s games as both squads were left with six league losses. The Lady Falcons, who went on two win their next two games, play one more conference game than Wilson because there are more teams in the West Division than in the East, where Wilson resides. That could be a huge deciding tiebreaker down the stretch.
“We’re tied now with Wilson. We both have six losses,” Mladosich said. “If they have eight and we have eight, then we go. We play one more game because we are in [the West] Division.”
Salisbury started quick and ended on a high note, but it was the two middle quarters that plagued the hosts. Following a 14-11 lead after the first quarter, one in which Caylin Meikrantz scored nine of her 16 points, the offense seemed to go into hibernation.
The Lady Falcons struggled to score over the next 16 minutes of play. Just two points in the second quarter and five in the third allowed Moravian Academy to regain the lead at 31-21 entering the fourth. It was due in large part to a difficult shooting day from behind the arc.
“I thought we got decent shots, but they were all threes,” Mladosich said. “At one time we missed 18 in a row. You’ve got to make some shots. Obviously they didn’t score that much. Our defense wasn’t that bad, and they have tremendous size over us.”
Those three-point shots, however, suddenly started to fall in the final eight minutes. Meikrantz nailed one from the left wing that cut the Lions’ lead to 31-26. Sarah McGee, who finished with 13 points, then hit back-to-back from long range. The first from the right wing got the Lady Falcons within 34-29, the second from the same spot to make it a 36-32 deficit.
However, the Salisbury comeback train ran out of steam as it entered the final stop.
“We’re not going to get much inside,” Mladosich said. “We had some opportunities, but we didn’t make them anyway when we got inside.”
Salisbury was clearly outmatched by Moravian’s size, but wasn’t hurt too much by that disadvantage. Maya Ettle, the tallest player on the court, led a balanced Lion attack with nine points. Cecily Redfern also tallied nine.
“I don’t think they got that many points,” Mladosich said. “I thought [Redfern] hurt us more. She is tough. She is a good athlete. They had three senior guards that played really well. But we have to make some shots.”
The Lady Falcons rebounded from that loss with wins over Catasauqua (53-23) on Friday and Palmerton (58-28) on Saturday. Up next is a battle against Northwestern at home on Thursday. Results from Tuesday’s game against Palisades were not available at time of press.