HARWICH ─ While other teams were still practicing, the Monomoy girls varsity squad hosted Cape Tech in one of the earliest games of the 2016-2017 season, playing to a 39-11 victory in the Shark Tank Dec. 8.
Though pleased with his team's win, Monomoy head coach Pete Richer acknowledged that his players were still shaking off some rust.
“It was a very early season game, so we haven't had a lot of time to prepare,” Richer said. “We missed a lot of easy layups. Too many turnovers. But a win is a win and we'll take it.”
After a slow start, the Sharks took command, cruising to a 9-1 lead after the opening frame, extending that lead to 19-1 midway through the second quarter largely on shots from Lexi Roma, who sank two three-pointers in the outing, Geia Alverio, and Nataia Nelson, who tied Roma as the night's high scorer with 10 points.
Monomoy's top quarter was the first, in which the Sharks netted 11 points on shots from Roma, Nelson and Christine Friedel, with the Sharks scoring 10 in the second quarter to take a 21-1 lead into the break.
Both quarters from the second half were nine points apiece, with Maddie Leonard and Courtney Leonard each contributing points.
Overall, Roma and Nelson netted 10, while Alverio had five, Friedel four, Courtney Leonard four, Kelsey Olson three, and Maddie Leonard with a successful free throw.
For Cape Tech, Taylah Gurley had two, Alyssa Clark three, LaTasha Miranda four, and Jesse Jensen and Yanali Rosado one each from the foul line.
Crusader head coach Chris Leonard praised his team's tenacity and determination, while acknowledging the early nature of the game.
“I think we're one of the first teams playing this week,” said Leonard. “I wish we would have scheduled this a little bit later, or played this caliber of a team later in the season. They're a good team, they're a good ball club. A new team for us to play. We've got new freshman guards who are a little bit young. It was a good wake up for them. This is varsity basketball. Let's get ready to play.”
Leonard praised the efforts of returning player Aliyah Molokwu, who appears poised to become a true leader this season, along with Alyssa Clark. He also gave a shoutout to Gurley, the team's lone freshman.
The victory marks Monomoy's first in the Cape and Islands League, with the game also marking their foray into the league after the district made the transition at the start of the school year from the South Shore League.
“Overall it's great to get a win,” said Richer, who gave kudos to his entire team. “They hustled, worked hard, and got better as the game went on, but we've got a lot to work on.”