WILMINGTON – Sophia Messick scored seven points in the first quarter as Saint Mark’s girls basketball team got off to a hot start and never looked back in a 42-21 win over Middletown on Feb. 4 at the Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington. It was the first game of the fourth annual SL24 UnLocke the Light Classic, which raises awareness of and funds for the battle against mental illness.
The Spartans had scored 11 points before most folks had settled into their seats, and also before the Cavaliers got on the board. Messick was joined on the scoreboard by Bella Prado and Moira Marcozzi, a junior transfer making her first appearance of the season. Middletown did not score until Olivia Vega hit two free throws more than five minutes into the contest.
Neither team seemed to want to score in the second. They combined for just eight points, with the Spartans getting six of those. Keira Benoit of Saint Mark’s had a field goal early on, and her teammate Sophia Karch added a layup toward the end of the half for the lone buckets of the quarter.
Messick got back into the act early in the third, draining a three-point shot that extended the Spartans’ lead to 24-8. The teams were fairly even on the scoreboard after that. The Cavs picked up their first field goals since the first quarter, including a three-pointer by Lanay Smith. But Middletown struggled offensively in the final quarter, and the Spartans dominated possession, with Benoit and Messick accounting for all eight of the team’s points.
Messick finished with 16 to lead the Spartans, with Benoit contributing 10. Saint Mark’s (11-4) is off until next Friday, when they make the short trip to Delcastle for a 3:45 p.m. tip.
Smith led the Cavaliers with nine points. The Cavs fell to 8-8 and visit Hodgson on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
All photos by Jason Winchell.