WILMINGTON – For one half of Tuesday night’s game against Padua, the Caravel girls basketball team could do little to stop the Pandas. Padua shots were true, its defense stout, and the hosts had a 37-28 lead to show for their effort.
But it was a different story during the final two quarters, particularly in the fourth, as Caravel turned up the pressure, forcing turnover after Padua turnover, blocking shots and denying the Pandas the three-point shot. Padua scored just 10 points in the second half as Caravel managed a 59-47 road win. Only two of those points came in the fourth quarter, as Padua held a 45-40 lead after three.
But Caravel (15-4) erased that deficit in short order, scoring the first eight points of the fourth. During the run, the Buccaneers took their first lead at 46-45, and the Pandas, after closing to within 48-47 on a layup by Emily Thiemann, would not score again. Caravel spoiled any Padua plans for an upset by hitting all eight of its free-throw attempts in the final minutes and 17 of 21 for the game. Padua, on the other hand, attempted just 12 foul shots, making only five. The final tally in the fourth quarter was Caravel 19, Padua 2.
Juniors Caroline Davis and Ky’Asia Stanford each had an exceptional game. Davis scored 11 of her team’s 15 first-quarter points and 22 overall to lead all scorers. She also showed why she is one of Delaware’s most versatile players, hitting a three-pointer in each quarter and, on defense, shaking off early foul trouble to block a half-dozen shots. Stanford’s mid-range jump shot was on display all night, as she put up 20 points.
Davis said Caravel expected a tough challenge from Padua but just started out slow. “We really just had to get our energy up. We knew it was going to be a good game from the start because we played them close in the Diamond State, so we tried to get our energy up, for sure.”
Caravel, currently ranked third in the state, won that first matchup, 55-44, on Dec. 30 at the Diamond State Classic.
For much of the first half, the Buccaneers had to be wondering what hit them. The Pandas took the lead on the first possession of the contest as Rachel Liskiewicz drove for a layup. Padua blazed its way to a 16-6 lead, survived a 9-0 run by Davis, and built its advantage to as many as 11 before settling for the nine-point halftime lead.
Senior Emma Matthews, who led Padua with 15 points, had 11 in the first half, including three treys, and the Pandas nailed six from beyond the arc. Thiemann added 13. Padua, which fell to 11-8, had a four-game winning streak ended. The Pandas close out the regular season Wednesday at home vs. Appoquinimink on Senior Night for the players. Tipoff is at 7:15 p.m.
Caravel also received double figures from senior Jessica Reynolds,who finished with 11 defeated Padua for the second time this year. The Buccaneers finish the regular season Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Charter School of Wilmington.