HARWICH – The Cape Tech girls varsity basketball team might be small in numbers, but what they lack in depth they make up for in heart, as evidenced by the way they continued battling last Friday in spite of falling to St. John Paul II 69-29.
Cape Tech Head Coach Chris Leonard said the Jan. 3 outing marked the first time since the season’s start that he’s had his entire squad together, which was a plus in the sense of gaining some valuable playing time.
“We’ve kind of had a failure to launch in the beginning,” Leonard said. “But we’re getting back together.”
Another challenge the Lady Crusaders faced and will likely face throughout the season is key differences in height. Many of their SJP2 opponents were markedly taller than most on the Cape Tech team, though what the Crusaders lacked in height they worked to make up for in speed and agility.
The onslaught against the Crusaders began in the first quarter when the Lions outscored the home team by 15 points. As Cape Tech struggled, its eight-player roster allowing for brief substitutions, the Lions continued adding to their tally, though the Crusaders made it more of a contest in the second quarter, scoring 11 points to the Lions’ 12.
Unfortunately for Tech, the damage of the first quarter had been done, so in spite of solid shooting from Kylie Palomba, Alexis Costa, Hailey Webb, and Allianna DeBarros, the Lions took a 32-16 lead into the half.
While most teams might have given up, the Crusaders soldiered on, taking opportunities wherever possible. In the case of Palomba and Taylah Gurley, that meant a three-pointer each to boost the home team’s score.
Gurley proved the lone scorer during the game’s final frame, netting two shots and sinking one free throw.
Leonard said he’ll be working with his team on boxing out but said that given the start-of-the-season circumstances, he’s pleased with their efforts.
“It was a good effort by our girls, with Taylah kind of leading things,” Leonard said. “And Kylie, and good defense from Sami (Fuga), and Hailey coming out.”
Gurley led the way overall with 13 points, including a three-pointer, while Palomba had eight points, including a tri, Costa four, and Webb and DeBarros two each. At press time Jan. 7 the Crusaders were set to travel to Osterville to face Cape Cod Academy, kicking off a series of road games. Their next home game is set for Jan. 17 against Bristol Aggie at 5 p.m.