HARWICH – Monomoy's loss was Cape Cod Academy's gain and Cape Tech's downfall in girls basketball action as the Seahawks' Mac Balfore scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in a commanding fourth quarter on Monday in CCA's 46-26 victory against the Crusaders.
It was a fairly competitive game until that final quarter in the Crusaders' Feb. 3 outing, but as CCA's Balfore, who once attended Monomoy High and played for the Sharks, kept scoring, the Crusaders unraveled, allowing CCA to extend what was a slight edge to the point where there was no coming back for Cape Tech.
Team unity and communication seemed to be working against the home team Crusaders from the start of the game, with discord visible on several player's faces. That discord paved the way for CCA to outscore Cape Tech 10-5 in the opening quarter.
A more competitive second quarter gave the Crusaders a much-needed boost, with shots from Alexis Costa, Kylie Palomba, and Hailey Webb bringing Cape Tech within two at the break, with CCA leading 19-17.
Both teams had a challenging third, with the Seahawks playing to an 8-3 advantage in the frame, but once Balfore and teammate Kaylee Bickford got fired up in the fourth, the Crusaders were left, well, literally holding the ball.
“It wasn't our best effort,” said Cape Tech head coach Chris Leonard. “We had some issues going on during the game and rectified them, and a whole lot of girls that haven't gotten a lot of varsity experience are going to get a lot in the next five games.”
Leonard said he'll be looking to the team's tallest players, Hailey Webb and Sami Fuga in upcoming games as both are key on rebounds.
“We have two good bigs,” Leonard said. “When they box out and jump up and rebound, they can produce for us.”
Leonard gave kudos to Fuga for her efforts, Alexis Costa for taking over the ball, and Mia Ridley, whom he said stepped into a new role during the game.
“And Kylie Palomba is always a rock, playing hard and working hard,” he said.
Next up for the Crusaders is a home game against Norfolk Aggie on Feb. 7 with a 5 p.m. start.
“I still think our girls play hard and tough, and we're going to push forward,” Leonard said.