Did any area girls’ basketball team have a better first week of February than Georgetown Day? In a span of three days, the Mighty Hoppers knocked off No. 17 Bullis, which at the time was ranked ninth, and six-time defending ISL AA league champion Georgetown Visitation.
Georgetown Day had lost at least 14 straight to Visitation — The Post’s internal box score system goes back to the early 2000s — and had lost five straight to Bullis.
In the two victories, 46-42 over Bullis and 52-39 over Visitation, senior post players Zoe Beard-Fails and Caira Washington combined for 56 points. In the teams’ first meetings this season, Georgetown Day (11-6, 8-3) lost by 23 to Bullis (15-4, 9-1) and by 16 to Visitation (16-6, 9-1).
“If there were questions, we answered them that we can play with these teams and we showed people it wasn’t an accident for us to beat Bullis, for us to beat Visitation,” said Beard-Fails, a Colorado recruit who missed extensive time with lingering knee issues the first half of the season.
“I think the main difference between the first time we played these teams and this time was our composure. The first time we played them we got down by 10 points and we just shut down. They would gain their lead and we within ourselves would start to freak out. The second time we were all just so calm.”
From Dec. 8 of last season to the start of the team’s current eight-game winning streak in ISL AA play, Beard-Fails and Washington, a George Washington recruit, have been on the floor together for only one game. So it has taken awhile for the Mighty Hoppers to become the team they thought they could be all along, strengthened by competitive five-on-five intrasquad scrimmages.
“I think at this point we know we have enough confidence in our teammates and within ourselves that I trust them and they trust me,” Beard-Fails said. “We practice harder. We’re all playing well together. We’re talking a lot more. It’s just this sense of camaraderie that we all have. We just really want to win and want each other to do well, and that’s what’s pushing us.”
Four Riverdale starters fouled out, and Spalding shot 39 free throws to the eighth-ranked Crusaders’ 19, although many of the visitors’ attempts came in the waning minutes when Riverdale was trying to extend the game.
“I really hate to say this, but we have the worst officials here,” Caldwell said. “I hate to play home games because we don’t get officiating like this anywhere but at Riverdale, and it’s terrible. I think the officiating screwed the whole game up. It was just too many calls. Every touch is not a foul. There were a bunch of ticky-tack fouls that I felt like, that’s just basketball.
“If this was boys playing, it would just be basketball. Every time two girls touched the ball, it was a jump ball. It just messed the whole flow of the game up to me, and I hated it. To me, they took us out of our style of play. Spalding is an aggressive team, too. Let us play.”