HARWICH ─ For the second consecutive season, the Monomoy girls basketball team has qualified for the postseason, this time with a thrilling 48-39 victory against Nantucket on Feb. 2. The win marked No. 10 for the team, earning them a tourney berth as their regular season winds down.
“We've made the playoffs two years in a row, which is a great accomplishment for the seniors, so they should be very proud of that,” said head coach Pete Richer.
The Sharks took an early lead in the outing, but were forced to fight throughout the four quarters as the Whalers continued to battle in spite of only coming within a few points of Monomoy's lead.
The closest Nantucket came to catching their hosts was at the end of the first. Monomoy held a two-point 9-7 lead, which they extended in the second to a seven-point 21-14 edge.
Midway through the third the Sharks took a 10-point lead that they'd cling to for the game's remainder thanks to successful shots from Geia Alverio, Nataia Nelson, Christine Friedel and Courtney Leonard.
The fourth quarter saw the Whalers put the Sharks on notice, outscoring their hosts 15-13, but Monomoy held on to claim victory.
“Overall we executed exceptionally well,” said Richer, who acknowledged that he would have liked his team to sink more shots from under the net. “We played very, very good defense, and our offense was working well. Our offense was getting the ball right where we wanted to, but unfortunately we didn't finish well. Had we made a lot of our 'bunnies' we could have been ahead by quite a bit more.”
Through there were struggles with shots, Alverio had four rebounds and netted 15 points for the Sharks, Nelson had 13, with Friedel turning out a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Also scoring for Monomoy was Courtney Leonard with four and Maggie Dever with a beautiful three-pointer in the opening frame.
Leonard and Dever also started the game for Monomoy, with Leonard controlling the ball on a number of occasions and Dever proving a force on defense.
“Courtney did a great job in a starting role, and Maggie Dever did a great job starting as well,” said Richer. “And Geia's ball handling, as always, was key. She really controls the court.”
The win marks the second time the Sharks defeated the Whalers after Monomoy took home a 39-36 win on Jan. 20. This second Nantucket win makes up for a tough 46-24 loss to East Bridgewater on Jan. 30 and a 54-38 loss to Falmouth Academy on Jan. 26.
“The focus going forward is to finish a bit stronger,” said Richer. “Other than that, though, we did a very nice job.”
At press time the Sharks were slated to play Rising Tide at home, Falmouth on the road, and Nauset tomorrow night in a special doubleheader as both the boys and girls teams battle the Warriors. Girls at 5 p.m., boys at 6:30 p.m.