HARWICH – After the Sturgis West Navigators took a 13-11 lead into the second quarter of their Jan. 17 game at Monomoy, the Sharks regrouped in a big way, ultimately playing to a 53-39 victory in the Cape and Islands Lighthouse League.
It was the first time the Sharks entered into competition with the Navigators and it took a little time for the home team to really get rolling, but once they did there was no looking back.
After that opening frame, the Sharks yanked the lead back from their opponents with gusto, outscoring the Navigators 19-5 in the second quarter, in which Jamie Routhier scored seven of his 15 total points.
While Routhier and teammates Eli Stafford, Bradley Alexis, and Aidan Melton bolstered Monomoy's score, Sturgis West players were left stymied by the Sharks' renewed intensity on defense, which saw them employ a smothering press that worked to hold their opponents to just two successful shots in the second, a three-pointer and a successful basket by Bennett Urribarri.
“When we pressed them, that changed everything,” said Monomoy head coach Keith Arnold. “Before the game we talked about who they are, who we are, and what we had to do. It wasn't really getting done. Once we extended the floor, that just took [West] out of their comfort zone and we were able to get points off them.”
With the Sharks now holding a 30-18 edge at the break, it was crucial that they stay their course against the determined Navigators, which they did to the tune of 15 points on the Monomoy side to just five on the West end. Scoring in the third for the Sharks was Joe DeMango with six of his 12 total points, Routhier with five more, including a nice three-pointer, Stafford, and Jason Ready.
The final quarter offered an opportunity for the Sharks to rest their starters and give the bench some key court time, and though the Navigators worked to outscore Monomoy 16-8, the damage had been done. Fans, however, were thrilled to see David Malone and Dan Gould each score in the fourth, along with cheering on Brandon Willis and Sean Deveau when they entered the game during the final frame.
Overall, Routhier finished with 15 points, DeMango 12, Ready eight, Stafford and Melton five each, and Malone and Gould two apiece.
Arnold gave shoutouts to Russell, Could, and Alexis for their efforts both in practices and games.
“Trevor Russell has come along in practice and him coming off the bench felt good,” Arnold said. “Dan Gould is also working his way into more playing time. Bradley and Jamie have been nursing some aches and pains and went a little light after the Tuesday game, but Bradley is getting more comfortable in his role. He provides a role of quickness and athleticism.”
Arnold said the win boosted the Sharks to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in the league, but now comes crunch time.
“We just finished half of our season,” he said. “Now, some of these games coming up, it's the first time we've played the teams. We've got division games. We've got to pay attention to where we're going and why. We're still looking to grow.”
A big help in that regard has been use of the program Hudl Assist, which provides stats from films of each game that coaches and players can use to find areas of strength and which need improvement.
“It's such a mature group that it's getting done at a steady rate,” Arnold said.
Next up for the Sharks is a trip to Sandwich for the second game against the Blue Knights tonight at 6:30 p.m., with their next home game set for Jan. 24 against Rising Tide at 5:30 p.m. On Monday (Jan. 27) Monomoy heads to Plymouth South for a 6:30 p.m. contest before returning home Jan. 31 for a 5:30 game against Sturgis East.