Cape Tech Girls Cruise Following Dominant Defensive Performance

by Brad Joyal
Cape Tech sophomore Julianna Santana shoots a floater in the lane over a sea of South Shore Tech defenders during Thursday’s victory in Harwich. BRAD JOYAL PHOTOS
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HARWICH – There are dominating performances, and then there’s the showing that the Cape Cod Tech girls basketball team turned in against Mayflower League rival South Shore Vocational Tech last Thursday night.

The Crusaders cruised into halftime with a 12-point lead before holding the Vikings scoreless during the second half en route to a lopsided 49-15 victory.

As strong as the defense was, Tech benefited from a balanced offense that saw Gianna Lubash, Julianna Santana and Addison Sundby each register 10 points to lead the way.

“It was great,” Cape Tech coach Nick Conti said. “The girls really put it together and I’m really proud of all of them. They all played tonight and every one of them contributed, so it was amazing to watch and it was a lot of fun.”

It was a celebratory second half for the Crusaders, who improved to 7-10 after nine players found their way into the boxscore after scoring points. At various points during the second half, Tech’s bench roared with excitement as girls who typically play sparingly made plays that impacted the game.

“A lot of girls had their first points for varsity, so that was really exciting,” said Lubash, a sophomore from Barnstable.

The victory was a culmination of the work the team has put in since the start of the season. With a combined 10 freshmen and sophomores, the Crusaders have experienced growing pains this winter, though Thursday’s showing proved the team has made strides that will carry over into next season.

“We’re a young team and they are coming together,” Conti said. “It’s taken a little bit — it’s been a challenging season — but the freshmen and sophomores are really standing out this year.”

Sundby was among the freshmen who made her mark. In addition to displaying her shooting touch around the rim, the first-year player was equally strong on the glass and was an asset to the Crusaders’ rebounding efforts.

“Her coming in this year has been awesome,” Conti said. “She’s really good at what she does down low on the post.”

Santana was instrumental in leading the offense, as the sophomore point guard registered eight of her 10 points before halftime after making two 3-pointers before the intermission.

Sophomore Miriam Dubner had five points, while her classmate Ava Townsend and freshman Sophia Riker chipped in four points apiece. Seniors Lindsay Payne and Adelyn Burlingame and junior Maggie Brookshire each finished with two points in the win.

“The fact I could give them all a chance in this game was a lot of fun,” Conti said. “Our seniors were happy for all of the girls to get a chance to play.”

The victory keeps Tech in contention for the Division 5 state tournament. In order to qualify, the Crusaders would need to win their final three games against Norfolk Aggie, Upper Cape Tech and Cape Cod Academy.

Regardless of the outcome, Conti said he was proud of the strides the team has made this season.

“Whatever happens is going to happen,” the coach said, “but the fact that we’re still such a young team and we have a chance, that’s good enough for me.”