Home Local Sports Padua basketball honors late coach, gets first win for current leader: Photo...

Padua basketball honors late coach, gets first win for current leader: Photo gallery

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Padua's Val McIntyre and Mount Pleasant's Georgia Sarko get the game started. Padua won their first game of the season. Dialog photo/Jason Winchell

WILMINGTON — Although Padua never trailed in its basketball game Dec. 12 against Mount Pleasant, the Green Knights were within striking distance after back-to-back field goals in the middle of the third quarter. The Pandas then went on a 19-0 run to put the game away on their way to a 50-26 win in their home opener.

Before the game, the school paid tribute to the late Harry B. Baczkowski, a longtime theology teacher at Padua who died in October. Baczkowski also served as the athletic director and coached several sports, including basketball. A few members of his state championship teams from 1980 and ’81 were on hand, as was his widow, Linda. Each of the Padua players presented Linda Baczkowski with a photo of her husband during introductions.

It was also the home debut for Pandas coach Denise Igo-Sackett, a 1997 graduate of Padua. She watched as Abby Hayes opened the game with a three-pointer, although turnovers from both teams kept the scoring low for a bit. The Pandas went nearly five minutes without a point until Val McIntyre scored to make it 5-2, and Abigail Nichols added a traditional three-point play in the final 22 seconds of the quarter to give the Pandas a 10-3 lead after one.

The Pandas opened up a 10-point lead three times in the second quarter, the last being at the end when freshman Molly Mager drained a three to put the score at 21-11 at the break.

The teams traded hoops as the third quarter progressed, with a steal and transition layup by Mikyia Smith getting the Green Knights back to within 10 at 27-17. That would be the closest they got, however, as the Pandas began their long scoring streak on a follow shot by McIntyre. During the run, Lillianna DiMarco scored on a runout, followed by a Nichols layup after taking a long pass. DiMarco pickpocketed a Mount player as the third quarter neared its end, and her scoop layup went in as the buzzer sounded to put the Pandas ahead, 42-17.

Grace Trerotola hit an off-balance jumper to open the scoring in the fourth, and she went inside the next time down the court to complete the 19-0 run. Sabrina Washington hit a pair of free throws to end the scoring drought for the Green Knights, and she followed that with consecutive field goals for her own personal 6-0 streak.

McIntyre led the Pandas with 12 points, while Trerotola added 9. Padua (1-2) makes the short trip to Ursuline on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip with the Raiders.

Washington had 15 for the Green Knights, who fell to 1-4. Mount visits Brandywine on Thursday at 5:15 p.m.

All photos by Jason Winchell.