Caravel and Padua played a game of streaks in Wednesday afternoon’s matchup at the Diamond State Classic, but in the end, the Buccaneers were a bit more streaky. They got out to a lead in the first quarter, allowed the Pandas to get back in it, then went on a run that led to a 39-31 win in the First State Orthopaedics Cup bracket at the St. E Center.
Both teams were coming off lopsided losses at the tournament on Monday and were looking for a better result. The teams got off to a slow offensive start, but Caravel was able to find its stroke. Kaylee Otlowski hit a layup, followed by a field goal for Grace Lange. At the end of the first, Nicole Czechowicz grabbed the rebound of a heave from a teammate and laid it in. She was fouled and made the free throw to complete the three-point play, and the Bucs led, 9-0, after eight minutes.
It was the second straight scoreless period for Padua, who scored just nine points in Monday’s loss, none in the fourth. Any worries about a repeat performance dissipated in the first minute of the second as the Pandas mounted a comeback. Meg Mallon scored on a layup 22 seconds into the stanza for her team’s first points. Bella Julian converted a steal into a fast-break layup, then hit a three-pointer after a steal. Two free throws by Mackenzie Scully tied the contest at nine.
““Last game, we just could not score, either,” Padua coach Emily Grugan said. “We just had to crack that seal. Once we got one, I knew they were going to start coming. I’m proud of them. I told them not to give up, just to keep shooting, keep shooting. They’re going to fall.”
Caravel responded with a six-point run, but Padua rallied to tie it once more. The Buccaneers scored the final four points of the half, however, for a 19-15 lead, and this time, Padua would not come back. Caravel extended its run to 10 by scoring the first six points of the third; Mallon then hit a three-pointer to get Padua on the board in the second half.
“We talk about managing the runs. When we have the run, to keep it going, and minimize theirs. I thought we could have done a better job of keeping that momentum, keeping us hot, keeping their shots from falling. But it’s something we have to work on to get better by the end of the season for the playoffs,” Grugan said.
Caravel, which improved to 5-3, got 10 points from Czechowicz and nine from Maia Bryson. The Buccaneers host Conrad on Jan. 8 at 7:15 p.m.
Padua fell to 1-5 on the season. Julian had 11 points for the Pandas, while Mallon added 10. They return to action Jan. 7 at home, taking on St. Mark’s at 7:15 p.m.