FREDERICK — Winning games in the Tri-Valley League is never easy.
Doing it on the road in a loud and hostile environment makes the chore that much more difficult.
On Tuesday night at Frederick, the Mead Mavericks faced one of the biggest crowds they have played in front of all season, and for three quarters it showed. The home-standing Warriors had them on the ropes headed to fourth quarter all even at 38-38.
But Mead persevered and made the most of 11 fourth quarter Frederick turnovers, as well as a favorable foul count that sent them to the line 40 times in the game for a 60-51 win.
“In the first two quarters, it felt like we didn’t come out the way we should have, we played a lot slower and we just weren’t making good decisions, especially on the press,” said senior guard Anna Maher, who went to the foul line 21 times. “It just seemed off.”
The Mavericks aggressiveness in the paint was rewarded all night long — not a single charge was called on either team — and Mead went into the double bonus with 5:30 to play, down 47-44.
It only upped the willingness to work harder on their press and get the ball inside.
“Some of it, we just didn’t move our feet and we were tired and we were making bad plays,” said Frederick coach Brett Anderson, whose team was whistled for 30 fouls. “Maybe a little inconsistency, but at the end of the day, it’s their call.”
From the 5:30 mark on, Mead (9-2 overall, 3-0 Tri-Valley League) out-scored Frederick 16-4, getting clutch free-throws from Alanna Hernandez and Maher and clutch baskets from Anna Veltien — who matched Maher with a team-high 18 points — and Bailey O’Dell, who came off the bench to score 14 points.
“It was all about grit in that fourth quarter,” said Maher, whose nifty assist to O’Dell with three minutes to play put the Mavericks up for good.
For Anderson, whose team dropped to 6-5 overall and 0-3 in the Tri-Valley, it was the little moments where his team lost momentary focus that he felt like really coast his team.
But the Warriors coach, who said this was by far the best his team had played for 32 minutes in 2018 after opening last week with Holy Family and Windsor — the “gauntlet of our league,” he said — will take the effort from his team that was lead by Aspen Dufour’s 20 points.
“We needed a game like this going in to Erie on Thursday, cause they are anther great team and you have to go to their house and play another big rivalry game,” said Anderson, who also got 11 points from Danielle Hemelstrand and Tori Dufour. “My girls are encouraged by this. But they are also frustrated by some of those mental errors.”
MEAD 60, FREDERICK 51
MEAD (9-2, 3-0)
Hernandez 0 4-4 4, A. Maher 4 10-21 18, Choksey 0 0-0 0, Levine 0 0-1 0, Veltien 7 3-5 18, Gilbert 0 0-0 0, Glynn 2 2-4 6, O’Dell 6 2-5 14. Totals 19 21-40 60.
FREDERICK (6-5, 0-3)
DeSantis 2 0-3 4, A. Dufour 6 8-13 20, Teller 0 0-0 0, Tarnowski 3 2-2 11, Hemelstrand 0 0-0 0, Chavez 2 1-3 5, T. Dufour 4 2-2 11, H. Hurtado 0 0-0 0, Putallaz 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 13-23 51.
Score by quarters:
3-point field goals — Mead (1): Veltien; Frederick (4): Tarnowski 3, T. Dufour. Total fouls — Mead 14; Frederick 30. Fouled out — DeSantis, Tarnowski.