HARWICH ─ The Monomoy girls put forth an admirable effort in last Thursday's tournament game at Cathedral, but the No. 4 Panthers ultimately overtook the No. 13 Sharks en route to a 62-38 first-round victory.
“The first quarter went well,” said Monomoy head coach Pete Richer. “We were behind 10-8 after the first and did a very good job defensively containing their three-point shooters and their center, a six-foot-two girl who is very athletic.”
The second quarter saw Cathedral put in subs to relieve their starters, which allowed the Monomoy squad to play to a 24-21 lead at the half on the scoring strength of Courtney Leonard, who added six of her 10 points in the second frame, with teammates Kelsey Olson and Nataia Nelson netting five and four points respectively, including a nice tri from Olson.
“Unfortunately, their team is very deep and talented from top to bottom, so when they came back out in the second half, their continuous pressure got to us,” said Richer. “We got a bit tired and started turning the ball over more frequently.”
Richer said Cathedral's athleticism and pressure defense combined with Monomoy's exhaustion did the Sharks in. Also working against the team was the absence of Geia Alverio to injury and Kira Foster due to a family illness.
“We absolutely did give them a good run,” Richer said. “Playing them last year in the tournament gave us some experience and told us that we could play them. We were not intimidated, which says something. Having to play last year's state champion could be intimidating, but our girls didn't let that happen.”
The coach praised the efforts of senior Christine Friedel, who had four points overall, five assists, and six rebounds.
“Christine was key in handling the pressure of the defense in the first half,” Richer said. “She was certainly a standout. Without the two guards, her ability to handle the press from a point/forward position was impressive.”
Richer said that overall, the team's 2016-2017 season was solid, in spite of varying issues throughout.
“As a whole I think we did very well considering the injuries and illnesses we had to contend with all season,” he said. “I commend the girls for sticking with it, and they should be proud they made the tournament two years in a row. We're going to miss the six seniors who are graduating, tremendously, and are looking forward to a strong rebuilding year next year with a lot of young players.”