The Sparrows Point girls basketball team had its first victory of the season within its grasp – and then it lost its touch.
Its shooting touch, to be precise. The Pointers did not have a field goal for the final nine minutes of the game against visiting Carver A&T on Friday, letting a six-point slip away to a six-point loss, 40-34.
Sparrows Point (0-11) led throughout the game until Carver A&T took the lead with four minutes remaining and steadily pulled away.
Trailing 31-26, the Wildcats scored 10 unanswered points to go ahead 36-31. Sparrows Point had a 30-24 lead entering the fourth quarter, then was outscored 16-4.
All four points came on free throws. The Pointers missed all 17 of its shots in the fourth quarter and were four-for-12 from the foul line.
A six-point lead seemed secure against a team that scored 24 points in the game’s first 24 minutes — providing you maintained your scoring pace.
Of particular frustration for the Pointers: many of the missed shots came from near the basket. They also had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Shooting has been a problem for the young Pointer team all season, with Sparrows Point not yet reaching 40 points in a game this season.
(Sparrows Point has no seniors; seven juniors, three sophomores and a freshman.)
But after finishing the first three quarters with 30 points, Sparrows Point was on pace to reach 40 until everything seemed to go wrong in the last eight minutes.
Sparrows Point led by six and eight several times over the first three quarters but just couldn’t get the surge it needed to pad its lead.
When it was 11-5, the Golden Eagles pulled to within 11-9. A 21-15 halftime lead became 21-18; 24-18 was reduced to 24-20; and 28-20 and 30-22 became 30-26.
The last one hurt. The basket by Jayda Robinson that gave the Pointers that 30-22 lead with a little more than a minute remaining in the third quarter was Sparrows Point’s last basket of the game.
The Pointers missed their last three shots of the quarter, ending the game on an oh-for-20 streak. A couple of those shots go in, and the losing streak likely ends.
Ava Johnson led Sparrows Point with 14 points. Molly Shelley. had 10 points, and Robinson scored six points.
Sparrows Point lost to visiting Hereford on Friday 52-11.
The Pointers were to play at two-win Patapsco on Wednesday. After playing at New Town on Friday, the Pointers host winless Dundalk on Feb. 5.
Patapsco (2-7) lost at Loch Raven 49-19 on Jan. 22 and lost to visiting New Town on Friday 54-6.
After playing Sparrows Point, the Patriots play at Hereford and at Carver A&T before hosting Milford Mill on Feb. 7.