Nauset Girls Basketball Bounces Back, Pulls Away From MV

by Brad Joyal
Nauset senior Samantha McIsaac makes a floater during Friday’s victory over Martha’s Vineyard at Nauset Regional Middle School in Orleans. BRAD JOYAL PHOTOS
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ORLEANS – Following a disappointing loss to St. John Paul II, the Nauset girls basketball team viewed Friday’s matchup against Martha’s Vineyard as a good opportunity to get back on track.

The Warriors made the most of the opportunity.

Led by strong performances by senior Jordyn Streitmatter (15 points), freshman Amari Brace (10 points) and senior Samantha McIsaac (8 points), Nauset returned to its winning ways with a 44-30 victory over Martha’s Vineyard at Nauset Regional Middle School.

“We needed this,” said Streitmatter, a Brewster resident. “We needed to know that we are better than we played [Tuesday] and that we can win games.”

Three days removed from a 43-41 defeat to JP II, Nauset (4-5) opened Friday’s game with renewed energy, especially on the defensive end of the floor. The Warriors allowed the Vineyarders to score just three points during the opening quarter before building a 24-11 lead by halftime.

Nauset coach Jean Leyton said amplifying the defensive effort was one of the team’s goals following Tuesday’s loss to the Lions.

“We’re trying really hard to focus on defense,” Leyton said, “because that’s what wins games. We have to get them to buy into it. We’re trying different defenses to try to confuse teams and we’re using different people.”

In addition to Streitmatter and McIsaac, fellow senior starters Gabby Foster and Jill Ernstorm helped anchor the defensive efforts. After playing together for years, the four seniors’ chemistry is helping to create results on the floor, according to McIsaac.

“We’ve been through a lot together, so I feel like we’re all really comfortable with each other,” said McIsaac, a Yarmouth resident. “We know each other’s game, and I think that’s really helpful.”

It isn’t only the upperclassmen who are making an impact, however. Brace has been a key addition after transferring to Nauset and joining the program for her first season.

“She transferred here from New York, so I didn’t know her before this year,” Leyton said. “She gets a little nervous at times, but when she gets into the flow, she’s an integral part of what we do.”

On Friday, Brace looked like a seasoned veteran when she sank two 3-pointers in the win.

“When I was a freshman, I was really shy and scared,” Streitmatter said. “I love how into it she is. It helps us so much that she’s not shy and that she can fit right in.”

After losing a couple games that the team felt it should have won, Leyton is hopeful Friday’s victory will help the Warriors get back on track as they buckle down and try to make a push to qualify for the Division 2 state tournament.

“We’ve let two go that we shouldn’t have,” Leyton said. “It might end up biting us in the butt, but we’re going to keep going and try to maybe win some that we shouldn’t.”