MILLTOWN – St. Mark’s and St. Georges got into a track meet Saturday afternoon, with the Spartans running and gunning their way past the visiting Hawks, 62-39, in nonconference girls basketball play. It was the Spartans’ second straight win and evened their record at 2-2.
St. Mark’s blew a relatively close game wide open in the third quarter, outscoring the Hawks, 22-4, and turning a six-point lead into a 24-point cushion. The comfortable margin allowed first-year Spartans coach Val Karch to get her young roster some valuable playing time. Of St. Mark’s 13 players, nine are freshmen or sophomores; only two are seniors, and one – Kaitlynn Wolff – missed last year with a knee injury.
The Spartans maintained a lead throughout the first half, although the teams’ play was competitive. St. Mark’s pressured St. Georges into numerous turnovers, and the hosts could have put the game away in the first half had they converted more of their opportunities and committed fewer turnovers of their own.
The scoring started off a turnover, as sophomore Kendra Schweizer pilfered the ball under the Spartans’ offensive basket and fed Kara Dougherty. The Hawks tied it at 2, but St. Mark’s scored the next 11 points to take control. Wolff had the last three points of that run, taking a pass off a steal and laying the ball in as she was fouled.
St. Georges (1-3), led by freshman Amber Washington, mounted a comeback in the second. Washington drilled a three-point shot that made the score 15-9, and Jinae Leibert followed with an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the margin to three. The teams traded hoops after that, but 17-14 was as close as the Hawks would come.
St. Mark’s quickly restored a nine-point advantage on a pair of Dougherty layups sandwiched around two free throws by Schweizer, although St. Georges managed to cut that to 23-17 at the half. The outcome would be sealed in the third.
Schweizer scored 12 to lead the Spartans, while Angelique Lorang added 10. Their next game is Dec. 27 vs. Oxford (Pa.) at the St. E Center in the Diamond State Classic. The Hawks got 16 from Leibert and 11 from Washington. They are back on the court Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., hosting Cape Henlopen.