HYANNIS ─ It's not every day that nearly every member of a varsity basketball team gets a chance to play, but when it happens it's pretty cool, as the Monomoy girls varsity squad learned Monday night in their 44-14 victory against Sturgis West.
When it was clear the visiting Sharks held an unshakable lead over their hosts, head coach Pete Richer capitalized on the opportunity to give each of his players some key playing time. Not only did the girls rise to the occasion; nearly each player scored at least once in the outing.
Leading the way was Maddie Leonard, who netted all 10 of her points in the game's second quarter, with Christine Friedel adding nine points to the total. Geia Alverio had seven, while Kira Foster and Courtney Leonard each had six, and Kelsey Olson sunk another perfect three-pointer. Nataia Nelson added two, and Leah Nash one in a nice throw from the foul line. Maggie Dever was also a key contributor on the court.
Monomoy cruised to an early lead against the Navigators, finishing the first quarter with a 14-2 edge before tallying 15 more points in the second, after which players saw regular rotation.
“It was a great game overall,” said Richer. “Everybody got a chance to play a lot. We ran our offense well. We played a great, strong, man-to-man defense, and look forward to a big game against Falmouth Academy.”
Right now Falmouth Academy is leading the Cape and Islands League with an 11-1 overall record. Richer has hope for his Sharks, but is also realistic.
“If we play an exceptional game, limit our turnovers, avoid foul trouble, box out well, rebound well on the offensive and defensive boards, we have a shot, but that's a tough battle,” he said. “They're an incredibly tough team that doesn't crack under pressure.”
Even if Monomoy falls, the Sturgis win edged them closer to a tournament berth, with their overall record standing at 9-4.
Richer praised his younger players for their strong game play.
“The young girls hustled like crazy,” he said. “They get in that game, that's their opportunity, and they go like crazy. But everybody did a nice job.”
Prior to their win against West, the Sharks traveled to Nantucket where they came away with a stellar 39-36 win against the Whalers on Friday.
On this night, Alverio was the team leader, netting a game-high 20 points in the win, which saw the Sharks rally back from an eight-point deficit. Friedel scored 11 and had seven rebounds. Lending assistance to her teammates with double-digit rebounds was Nelson, who hauled in 13 overall.
Start time for the Monomoy-Falmouth Academy away game is 5:30 today, with the Sharks next home game slated for next Thursday against Nantucket with a 3:30 p.m. start time.