HARWICH – Chenoa Peters lit up the scoreboard to the tune of a game-high 19 points on Jan. 17 when the Cape Tech Crusaders defeated the Monomoy Sharks in girls basketball action.
The majority of Peters' points came from well-aimed three-pointers, five in total, that helped the Crusaders earn a key Cape and Islands League victory. Following close behind Peters was teammate Taylah Gurley with 15 points.
The evenly matched ballgame saw the home team Crusaders find the scoreboard first before both sides began battling ferociously for control of the game. After the opening frame the score was knotted at 12-all, with Monomoy's Melissa Velasquez netting six points for the Sharks in the first quarter.
Monomoy outscored Cape Tech by two points in the second, again with Velasquez a key contributor with another seven points in the quarter, which saw the Sharks take a 26-24 lead into the break. But that lead wouldn't last long.
Following halftime, the Crusaders turned up the proverbial heat, only trailing their crosstown rivals by one point after the third quarter thanks to savvy shooting by Gurly and Peters. But it was the final frame that proved Monomoy's undoing.
With the Sharks holding a 34-31 edge heading into the last quarter, the determined Crusaders made it clear they weren't going down without one heck of a fight, netting 14 points to Monomoy's seven.
Peters added two more three-pointers to her tally in the quarter, as well as two successful shots from the foul line. Junior Alexis Costa joined the fray and added a three-pointer of her own, with Gurley cementing the win with four points in the fourth.
“From early on in the game the Crusaders were able to match Monomoy's intensity, and then stayed consistent during the four quarters,” said Cape Tech head coach Chris Leonard. “That's what kept the Crusaders positive and in the mix. In the fourth quarter great defense leading to positive offensive opportunities led to the comeback when we were down four going into the fourth.”
“Cape Cod Tech shot the heck out of the ball, and played an incredible game,” said Monomoy head coach Pete Richer. “[They] deserved to win. They were the better team on that night.”
Richer said what worked against the Sharks, along with the home team's strong shooting, were too many turnovers, unforced errors, and poor boxing out, which he said led to too many second chance opportunities for Cape Tech.
“Chenoa Peters scoring 10 of her 19 [in the fourth] created the separation the Crusaders needed to hang on for the win,” said Leonard, who added an ironic twist to his team's tale. “I was screaming 'Don't shoot!' when Chenoa set up to hit a three-pointer that put the Crusaders up by four.”
Leonard also gave shoutouts to Anais Catala and Alicia Diaz.
“Although they are not in the stat line, they had a huge impact on the game with great defense and rebounding versus a much taller Monomoy squad,” said Leonard. “As always the Crusader coaches are very proud of our players' intensity and effort.”
In the end, along with Peters' 19 points and Gurley's 15, were six from Kylie Palomba, five from Costa, a three-pointer from Alyssa Clark and two points from Makayla Eldridge. On the Monomoy side, Melissa Velasquez led the way with 15 points, which earned her kudos from Richer.
“Melissa Velasquez deserves credit for her points,” he said. “Any time an eighth grader can contribute a lot of points like that is noteworthy.”
Erin Starkey came in with eight points, Caroline DiGiovanni seven, Mackenzie Balfore six, Maggie Dever four and Leah Nash two.
“Our effort was certainly there, but we have to improve on finishing around the basket,” said Richer. “We were able to get the ball in the position we wanted pretty frequently, but we just couldn't get it to drop in the hoop.”
On Monday the Crusaders once again savored victory with their 38-36 defeat of Old Colony, with Gurley netting 14 points overall, Peters eight, and Costa and Clark six apiece. It was Costa that clinched the win for Cape Tech with a last-second shot off the backboard on a nice pass from Gurley.
Next up for Cape Tech is a home game against Cape Cod Academy today (Jan. 24) at 4 p.m., while Monomoy hosts Martha's Vineyard tonight at 5:30 p.m.