Matthews’ big second half leads Pandas past Woodbridge, into second round


For The Dialog


WILMINGTON – Emma Matthews scored 20 of her 24 points in the second half to help Padua advance to the second round of the girls’ state basketball tournament with a 56-40 win over Woodbridge at Brandywine High School.

The senior scored 11 of Padua’s 14 points during a 14-0 run to end the third quarter and 14 overall during the third as the Pandas took a big lead, then added six more in the fourth. She scored 20 of the Pandas’ 31 second-half points. With the win, Padua (13-8) advances to a second-round matchup Thursday at Milford (18-2) beginning at 7 p.m.

Padua, seeded 12th, jumped out to a big lead over the No. 21 Blue Raiders, but Woodbridge gave them a battle much of the night. After Woodbridge sophomore Altia Anderson scored the first basket quickly off the opening tip, the Pandas went on a 17-4 run and led, 17-6, after one quarter. Back-to-back three-pointers by Woodbridge senior Alana Frisby cut the Pandas’ lead to 21-13 in the second, and at halftime it was 25-20.

Padua coach Jason Matthews said he had a message for his team at the intermission. He told them “it was win-or-go-home time, and if you want to win you have to execute better.”

The message apparently took some time to sink in because an old-fashioned three-point play by Woodbridge – which included the third personal foul on Matthews – cut the lead to 25-23. The Blue Raiders continued the comeback, taking their second lead of the game at 29-28, but that is when Matthews took over.

Matthews knew that to be effective she couldn’t be on the bench in foul trouble. “I have a tendency to pick up some fouls, so I had to play good, smart defense,” she said.

Woodbridge got no closer than eight points in the fourth quarter, when the score was 44-36.

Padua’s rebounding improved in the second half against the taller Woodbridge players.

“Our bigs, especially Kelly Rozenko, kept them off the boards and held them to one shot,” Jason Matthews said.

Anderson led the Blue Raiders with 16 points, while Frisby finished with 10. Woodbridge’s season ends at 11-8.

In other games involving Catholic schools, 10th-seeded Archmere defeated No. 23 St. Andrew’s, 52-35, to advance to the next round Thursday at No. 7 Smyrna at 7 p.m. The Auks led by a point at halftime against the Saints, but controlled the game in the second half. Amanda Olsen led the way with 16 points; Audra Woodside added 10.

At William Penn, No. 17 St. Mark’s scored a mild upset with a 36-34 win over the No. 16 Colonials. St. Mark’s, which entered the game 6-13, led by eight after three quarters, then withstood a William Penn comeback. Claudia Seemans led the way with 10 points. The Spartans’ will meet a familiar foe on Thursday as they travel to top-seeded Ursuline for a 7 p.m. tipoff.