HARWICH – The Monomoy girls varsity basketball team might have fallen to Sandwich with a lopsided score of 57-35, but head coach Pete Richer told the team he thought it was their best game all season.
“I told the girls after the first quarter that was the best quarter of the year, and I told them after the game it really was our best game of the year regardless of the score and considering the competition,” Richer said. “Sandwich is the best team that we'll face this year and we did a very good job against them, overall. We had a few breakdowns here and there, and they had a few spurts that created the gap, but overall I'm happy with the performance.”
Indeed, the first quarter of the Sharks Jan. 23 game was impressive, with Monomoy at one point tying the game 8-8 before the quarter ended with the Blue Knights taking a 16-12 lead. From the start, the Sharks were a force, employing a full-court press that kept the visiting Sandwich squad fighting for every shot in the opening frame.
Caroline DiGiovanni proved stellar at the line, sinking four out of her five free throws and making a nice layup. Also scoring in the first quarter was Leah Nash with five points and Melissa Velasquez with a free throw.
Unfortunately for the Sharks, the Blue Knights regained control after that first quarter, outscoring the home team 16-3 to take a 32-15 edge into the break.
Though the damage was done, the Sharks adopted a never-give-up attitude that served them well. Shining in the third quarter was Velasquez, who netted nine of her 10 total points in the frame, including a nice three-pointer that set fans cheering.
Monomoy's determination paid off in the final frame of the game when the Sharks outscored the Knights for the first time all game, netting 11 points to Sandwich's 10. Velasquez led the scoring for Monomoy with 10, followed by DiGiovanni with six, Nash and Maddie Crossen with five apiece, Helen DiGiovanni with four, AJ Gates and Lexi Hyora with two each, and Lucy Mawn with one.
Richer said Velasquez and Mawn, both freshmen, had stellar outings.
“Melissa had a great second half,” Richer said. “She probably could have ended up with more points, but nothing was falling in that first half. I also thought Lucy Mawn played her best game of the season. She led the team with four assists. I thought she played under control, handled the pressure well, and distributed the ball well. She did her best job getting into the paint and dishing off to open teammates.”
Richer agreed that the final score didn't tell the entire story.
“I think we did a very good job in our full-court pressure in the first half and that's what kept us in the game basically, in the first half,” he said. “And we did a pretty good job breaking their press, and I was pretty happy with that. Again, considering the level of competition, we did a good job against the press.”
On Monday night the Sharks played to a 44-35 victory against Sturgis East, with Velasquez again leading the way, this time with 16 points overall in Cape and Islands Lighthouse League action.
The Storm held a 22-15 edge at halftime, but a commanding 15-5 fourth quarter lifted the Sharks into the winner's circle. Also scoring for Monomoy was Caroline DiGiovanni with 12 points and Nash with eight.
Next up for Monomoy is a trip to Falmouth to play Falmouth Academy on Feb. 3, with their next home game slated for Feb. 4 against St. John Paul II beginning at 6:30 p.m. On Feb. 6, the Sharks host the D-Y Dolphins with a 6:30 p.m. start.