WILMINGTON – St. Mark’s rode the three-point shot and a stifling defense to a 41-21 win over Padua Saturday afternoon in Catholic Conference girls’ basketball action. Jenna Wolff scored 17 points, 11 in the first half, to lead the Spartans.
St. Mark’s (6-2) jumped out to an 8-0 lead before the Pandas’ Bridget Novielli hit a layup to get her team on the board. Padua climbed to within 8-7 late in the first quarter, but St. Mark’s rebounded to take a 12-7 advantage after the opening stanza. The Spartans’ lead only grew from there.
The Spartans used the three-pointer to do most of their damage from the field, especially in the first half. Wolff hit two triples in the first quarter and four for the game, half of her team’s total. Wolff drained a two-point field goal in the first, and St. Mark’s would not score another two-pointer until the fourth quarter, when it hit four of them.
On defense, St. Mark’s forced Padua (5-3) into numerous turnovers with its relentless press and smothering man-to-man style. The Pandas struggled to advance the ball and to find open shots, and most of the shots they did take missed their mark. They made just two baskets after halftime, scoring a total of seven points in the third and fourth quarters.
Rachel Liskiewicz led Padua with six points on two first-half three-pointers. Emma Matthews added four. For Padua, the schedule does not lighten up, as they make the short trip to Ursuline to take on the top-ranked Raiders Wednesday at 7:15.
Claudia Seemans and Cassidy Flanigan contributed six points each for St. Mark’s, which returns to the court Wednesday at 6 p.m. when it hosts Caesar Rodney. Those points all came on three-pointers.
The other two teams in the Catholic Conference, St. Elizabeth and Ursuline, meet Monday at 6 p.m. at the St. E Center. The Vikings are ranked second in the state to Ursuline. Getting there a few minutes early is probably a good idea.