By Nelson Coffin
John Carroll senior Jordan Wakefield was a mismatch for even the best Mount de Sales defenders Wednesday night in Catonsville.
The George Mason commit poured in 29 points to lead both teams, although her outstanding performance was not enough to offset the Sailors’ balanced scoring in their 61-46 victory.
Mount de Sales received double digits from senior stalwarts Maura Devine, Kristen Zaranski and Abby Kuhn, who combined for 49 points as the Sailors improved to 11-3.
Zaranski was the most prolific of the trio, finishing with a team-best 22 points in B Conference member Mount de Sales’ second victory over A Conference opponents in three tries this season.
While all three of the Sailor shooters nailed three-pointers in the first quarter, it was Zaranski’s three that gave her team the lead for good.
She made another three to open the second half after Wakefield and fellow senior Kristen Huggins had helped the Patriots (5-5, 1-1 A Conference) draw to within six points at halftime.
Zaranski’s final three came in the waning seconds of the third quarter to boost the Sailors’ advantage back to 45-37 following another Wakefield scoring spree that included two free throws, a three-pointer and a coast-to-coast drive.
Down the stretch, Devine converted a tough layup and then drained a three from the top of the key before finishing strong on the foul line with a pair of made free throws.
All in all, it was another good outing for Mount de Sales, which was playing its first game after splitting a pair of games against Baltimore City powers Poly and Western at the Holly & Hoops tournament at Notre Dame Prep last weekend.
John Carroll coach Eric Wakefield said that the Sailors were a handful.
“They were penetrating and kicking out to their shooters,” he said. “They are a great team, and they had great spacing. They are difficult to defend.”
Devine, a point guard, said that she knew the Sailors needed to be patient against the Patriots’ 1-2-2 zone.
“And when we wern’t hitting from the outside, we countered with some pretty good drives,” she said.
She converted a couple of her own drives at key moments in the game.
“I just try to finish as best I can,” she said.
Mount de Sales coach Trish Armstrong said that Devine knows what she’s doing running the offense.
“We don’t really need Maura to score for us to be successful,” she said. “But when she does score, it’s icing on the cake.”
Both teams will play primarily conference foes the rest of the way, beginning Friday when the Sailors travel to St. Mary’s and the Patriots hit the road to meet Roland Park Country School.