A young and promising Wilde Lake girls basketball team had the heavier artillery and pulled away in the second half to defeat Catholic inMonday's game at Wilde Lake, 46-30. The 'Cats outscored Catholic in the fourth quarter, 15-3.
Wilde Lake's chief weapon was junior Tracy Stefan, who scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds, made three steals and shot seven for 16 from the floor.
It was Wilde Lake's first victory of the season after two defeats, and the first for freshman coach Kelly Rosati.
Rosati said at last Saturday's practice the team watched game films to see what they were doing wrong. They evidently found out.
"We hustled, talked more and worked together better today," Rosati said.
These were much rougher, tougher Wildecats than the tame tabbies who lost their opening two games and who won only three games all last season.
Wilde Lake beat Catholic High partly through intimidation.
"We've gotten a lot rougher," said Stefan, who played the best game of her career.
Stefan played the low post and wasn't afraid to knock people around while hustling for loose balls and rebounds.
"Tracy has improved110 percent since last season, when she was timid," Rosati said. "She's now pushing and diving and unafraid. She's a leader."
Stefan thinks the addition of freshman guard Kirsten Riismandel will help turn the season into a winning one.
"Kirsten has helped a lot with her leadership," Stefan said. "She lets you know what's going on, hustles all the time and makes you want to work."
Rosati is also pleased with Riismandel, whose fiery attitude on the court was infectious.
"She is energetic, has court sense and motivates people," Rosati said.
"We have a very young team with a lot to look forward to."
Wilde Lake played mainly seven girls: two freshmen, two sophomores, a junior and two seniors.
Senior star Renita Young didn't play thefirst quarter of Tuesday's game because she was late coming to practice Saturday. And seniorShawna Davis sat out the second half.
Thatleft Stefan, Riismandel, sophomore Kim Driessen, sophomore Tamika Bell and freshman Anika Middleton sharing the bulk of the playing time.
The first half was extremely close, as the lead changed 11 times.And at halftime, Catholic led, 22-21, with a 9-for-27 shooting performance. Wilde Lake shot 10 for 34.
In the second half, Catholic shot only three for 27 from the floor while Wilde Lake was 11 for 32. The reason for Catholic's drop-off was Wilde Lake's intimidation.
"My girls were complaining at halftime about getting pushed and shovedaround a lot," Catholic coach Barb Gallagher said. "I didn't want them to shove back, so I told them to just pull back a little bit. I guess we pulled too far back on our shots and just seemed to run out ofsteam in the second half."
Catholic definitely took shots that were out of its range. It missed its first 11 shots of the third quarter, and allowed Wilde Lake to build a 31-24 lead. Stefan scored six points during that run.
Only a three-point shot by Catholic's Kim Dorzey near the end of the quarter kept the visitors within striking distance, 31-27. Dorzey led her team with 11 points, including two three-pointers.
In the fourth quarter, Wilde Lake got even more aggressive, throwing a 1-2-2 half-court trap at Catholic, forcing four quick turnovers and getting seven of the first eights shots of the quarter.
Wilde Lake pulled ahead, 38-30, and Catholic went cold, missingits last 10 shots.
"It wasn't their defensive pressure so much aswe just weren't hitting our shots," Gallagher said.
Catholic High(0-2), a first-year member of the Association of Independent Schools, made up of small schools from Baltimore and Baltimore County, lost its opener to Notre Dame Prep.
But Gallagher has her entire starting lineup back from last year and expects to have a good season.