Damascus Christian escapes against Perrydale
1A Girls Basketball
DAMASCUS — With seven of their nine varsity players either freshmen or sophomores, the Damascus Christian girls basketball team is among the youngest in the state.
But on Saturday, it was a senior that stepped up big for the Eagles.
Team captain Franzi Ulrich, who is the only senior on the Eagles roster, led Damascus (17-5) with a game-high 12 points and had the game-winning steal as the Eagles came away with a hard-fought 35-34 non-league win over Perrydale (17-5).
"I am just so proud on my team," Ulrich said. "We're such a young team and the improvement that we have shown over this season has been amazing."
This game couldn't have started much slower as Damascus held only a 4-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. Perrydale didn't even get their first field goal until the opening minute of the second period.
Damascus's youth was apparent in the first eight minutes of the game as they had trouble getting passes off due to Perrydale's aggressive half-court trap.
But once they settled in midway through the second quarter, the Eagles started to get into a rhythm offensively. The Pirates came back to take a 9-6 advantage, but a pair of 3-pointers from Ulrich gave the Eagles the lead back at 12-9 late in the second quarter.
"The pressure was getting to us a little bit, but once I hit the two (3-pointers) in a row, that helped us get out of our slump," Ulrich said.
Perrydale, however, continued to put pressure on the Eagles to open up the third quarter. After tying the game at 14 going into halftime, the Pirates went on a 7-0 run in the first three minutes of the second half to take a 21-14 lead. But Damascus would come back with a run of their own.
Short jumpers by Ulrich and Ally Love trimmed the lead down to 21-18. Perrydale got a triple from Sydney Lawerence to get the lead to six, but 3-pointers from Noelle Wakefield and Savannah Hale tied the game back up at 24.
Look for extended coverage in the Feb. 6 edition.