Girls hold on to top Knights
Despite how well of a start the Salisbury girls’ basketball team had against Pen Argyl last week, the Lady Falcons suddenly found themselves in a bit of trouble.
Without the team’s leading scorer still sidelined, Sarah McGee is still sidelined with an injury, a couple of senior leaders helped Salisbury pull away when it needed them most.
Senior Kelly Gardus helped break a scoring drought in third quarter, and classmate Alicia Burkhardt scored seven in the fourth to push Salisbury (6-8 overall; 5-5 in Colonial League) to a 38-25 victory last Tuesday on its home court.
“In order to win these games that we need to win, we need Gardus and Burkhardt to score,” Falcon head coach Joe Mladosich said. “I think [freshman] Kelby [McNally] had a couple of points tonight, too. Olivia Hoeing did a nice job at the point.
“We didn’t play very well. But we have to hang in there and beat the teams we can beat.”
An 18-5 lead at halftime for Salisbury quickly dwindled to just four points late in the third quarter. But that’s when the Lady Falcons readjusted and shifted the momentum back over to their side.
A steal and layup for Gardus increased the Lady Falcons’ lead to 25-19 late in the third. Gardus came up with another steal seconds later and set up Olivia Hoeing in the final seconds of the quarter.
The fourth quarter began how the third ended. As Pen Argyl was forced to play a man-to-man defense looking to create turnovers, Burkhardt and the Lady Falcons took advantage. She scored the first two buckets of the quarter for Salisbury to give her team a 31-21 lead.
But Burkhardt’s biggest shot came at the midway point of the final quarter. Her three-pointer with four minutes to play gave Salisbury a 36-21 lead that would not be threatened the rest of the way.
“We don’t have any size,” Mladosich said. “Our biggest kid is 5-7. So, obviously we are not going to get anything easy inside. We have to move the ball and hit some shots. We didn’t shoot well. Our effort was good though. We got a couple of steals on the press, and those layups were key.”
Besides that lull offensively near the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third, Salisbury got a steady scoring dosage without its top scorer. Gardus (11 points) Hoeing (10) and Burkhardt (9) combined for 30 points for the Lady Falcons.
“We are getting better,” Mladosich said. “It’s been a week since we practiced I think because of the weather and the games and things like that. We’ll practice tomorrow and go from there.”
Pen Argyl got a team-high eight points for Megan Lilly.
Since that victory, Salisbury dropped two tough games to Southern Lehigh (61-20) and Wilson (49-25).