CLAYMONT — Archmere’s girls basketball team rebounded from a slow first quarter Feb. 14 to defeat Padua, 45-32, on senior night at Moglia Fieldhouse.
Neither team could score until a runner by Emme Mulvena put the Pandas on top, 2-0, more than four minutes into the game, and Padua stayed in the lead until Sara Denning made two free throws with 29.7 seconds remaining to give the Auks a 6-5 lead. Archmere was in the lead from that point forward, but the Pandas made sure they kept the Auks from ever feeling comfortable.
Lucy Oliver began a big night with Archmere’s first field goal 15 seconds into the second quarter, and senior Lydia Scarpaci followed with a deke and layup along the baseline, extending the lead to five. The Pandas cut it to one before the Auks ran off seven straight, with Scarpaci scoring five of those on a three-pointer, then getting a steal and taking it the other way for a transition layup.
The Pandas called a timeout with 1:36 to go and got four of those points back before halftime. Grace Trerotola took some contact but connected on a short jumper, and Bridget Casey grabbed an offensive rebound and deposited the loose change just before the buzzer.
Oliver scored the Auks’ first 11 points of the second half, all from the paint, as the hosts opened up a 28-19 lead. She continued to go inside into the fourth as the Auks’ defense and rebounding created opportunities for its offense. An Oliver steal at halfcourt turned into a layup, increasing the lead to 12.
The Pandas, however, hustled their way back. Trerotola hit a runner, and two free throws by Molly Mager made it an eight-point game. After those free throws, the Pandas forced an Auks turnover, but Oliver stole it right back and finished the possession with another layup. The lead stayed in the nine- to 11-point range until two late free throws accounted for the final margin.
Oliver led all scorers with 22 points, and Scarpaci had 11. Oliver also had one assist, feeding senior Katie Benson underneath for a layup. The third senior, Sara Denning, had 8 points and 10 rebounds. Archmere (15-3) visits Conrad on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. with a chance to clinch the Diamond State Athletic Conference title.
For the Pandas, Mulvena and Abby Hayes each scored 7. Padua (6-13) hosts Saint Mark’s on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on senior night for Casey and Paige Degnan.
All photos by Jason Winchell.