ST. GEORGES — Michelle Kozicki scored 17 first-half points to lead Padua to a 43-30 win over St. Georges in a nonconference girls basketball lid-lifter on Dec. 4. Kozicki, whose status was uncertain after she experienced a medical issue during the fall volleyball season, finished with 22.
The senior, who will play collegiately next year at La Salle University, opened the scoring with a transition layup following a steal. She added some stout defense, another bucket and a free throw to help the Pandas to the early lead. Kozicki finished the first with four field goals and three free throws, with the only other Padua points coming on a shot by Haley Quickel. For the Hawks, only freshman Elia Richardson got on the score sheet, draining two field goals, one for three points.
The Pandas went cold from the field in the second quarter, part of which Kozicki spent on the bench, but St. Georges could not take advantage. Padua did not score until just 2:50 remained in the quarter, with Kozicki knocking down a putback. But the Hawks managed just two field goals in the second and trailed by 10 at the break.
Padua extended the lead to 15 after three quarters as two St. Georges starters — Richardson and Aniyah Williams — were forced to the bench early on after picking up their fourth fouls. They returned later in the third to combine for six of the Hawks’ eight points in the stanza, but Natalia Frabizzio had two made shots, and Quickel drained all four free throws she attempted to keep the Pandas comfortably in front.
Quickel finished with eight and Kate MacLennan seven for Padua (1-0). The Pandas visit Newark Charter on Friday at 5:15 p.m.
For the Hawks, Richardson reached 10 points in her high school debut, while Williams added seven. St. Georges dropped to 0-1 and travels to Garnet Valley (Pa.) for a 7 p.m. start on Friday.