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Kilcullen’s hot streak carries Episcopal

RADNOR — Episcopal Academy senior Maria Kilcullen responded quickly when it was mentioned that she scored most of her points in the second half of an Inter-Ac League game at The Academy of Notre Dame’s Aimee Willard Gymnasium Thursday.

“I didn’t have any points in the first half,’ she was honest enough to admit.

Neither team scored much in the first two periods, when the turnovers (21) outnumbered the points (19).

Kilcullen started the second half with another missed shot, then made five in a row in helping visiting EA to a 34-24 victory.

“We’ve just struggled offensively this season,’ Episcopal Academy head coach Chuck Simmonds said. “We’ve needed somebody who could score the ball.

“Today we got a total team effort defensively and really made them work. Then when we started to work together (offensively), we got some good spacing and the matchups worked in our favor.’

Episcopal (13-5, 7-1) kept pace with Germantown Academy, which also has one Inter-Ac loss, in the league standings. The teams will meet Saturday, at EA.

Thursday, the visitors were 4-for-13 from the field in the opening half, turned the ball over nine times, and still walked off the floor ahead, 11-8. Notre Dame’s first half woes included only three baskets and 12 turnovers.

“Their defense can do things to you,’ Irish head coach Mary Beth McNichol said, after her team fell to 8-10 overall and 4-3 against Inter-Ac opponents.

Kilcullen (11 points, three steals, two rebounds, one assist) hit three shots in a row in the third period then dropped in both of her field-goal attempts in the final eight minutes.

“Our defense had to shut them down,’ said Kilcullen, who is headed to Loyola (Baltimore) to play basketball. “We have six people on this team we know are capable of scoring in double figures. We just haven’t had games where everyone was on like that. Sometimes it’s been up to other people to step up.’

Kilcullen was Episcopal’s only double-figure scorer Thursday. Starter Dylan Higgins (four steals, three rebounds, one assist) and Lily Kuntz, who came off the bench and hit a pair of 3-point shots in the second period, got nine points for EA. Margaux Paolino didn’t get a point, but chipped in with four steals, four assists and three rebounds.

“Our defense is good,’ said Kuntz, a junior who came to Episcopal Academy from Manheim Township High last year. “We play a lot better when we don’t have as many turnovers.’

Alex Kane got nine points, two steals and two assists for Notre Dame, which plays at Cardinal O’Hara in the Kevin Cain Foundation game Saturday afternoon.

 

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