Cape Tech Girls Settle In, Close Out Regular Season With A Win

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: Cape Cod Tech , Basketball

The Cape Cod Tech girls basketball team poses for a photo after defeating Falmouth Academy in its regular-season finale Monday in Harwich. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

HARWICH – The nervousness of members of the Cape Cod Tech girls basketball team was palpable during the first half of Monday’s regular-season finale against Falmouth Academy.

The Crusaders missed easy baskets, and they threw passes away for turnovers.

“The nerves were up,” first-year Cape Tech coach Nick Conti said. “We had a lot of fans.”

Although the nerves of playing what will likely be the team’s eight seniors’ final home game were on clear display, the Crusaders didn’t allow the tension to hinder them during the second half. The team settled into the game and pulled away for a 40-31 victory to finish the season with a 9-7 mark.

“We slowed down the game like I told them to — ‘slow down, we’re playing their style and need to play our style,’” Conti said. “The nerves had a lot to do with senior night.”

Prior to the game, the team acknowledged its group of seniors — Madison Saben-Hambleton, Raquel Javarezzi, Lashae Miranda, Jada Miranda, Isabella Welsh, Casey Tenore, Sarah Bent, Christina Okuniewicz and Taeyah Gillespie-Ross — and their families.

After the game, Conti said the group’s journey was complete in his eyes.

“For these seniors, their journey is complete for me,” the coach said. “They have a winning season, and now the playoffs are just extra.”

The Miranda cousins, Jada and Lashae, both Harwich residents, led the way in the victory. Jada tallied 16 points and six rebounds, while Lashae finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and a block. Frehsman Gianna Lubash added five points in the win.

Jada admitted she was emotional playing what was likely her final home game at Cape Tech, as the Crusaders are likely to head on the road during the Division 5 state tournament.

“I was actually upset. It’s kind of sad,” Jada said. “[My career has] definitely gone by really fast. My team is like a family to me.”

Lashae agreed Monday’s game brought extra nerves — as expected — before adding that she was pleased with how the team handled the night.

“There were definitely extra nerves,” she said. “We knew it was going to be a little tough, but we pulled through, which was good.”

Now the Crusaders await their playoff fate and their first-round matchup. Conti is confident that the team has proved it can hang tough against top opponents and that will bode well when the stakes are raised during the state tournament.

“We’re hoping for a great opportunity,” Conti said. “We don’t know where we’re going to sit [in the seedings]. We’re hoping for a home game, but we’re probably going to get an away game. The girls have shown they can play with great teams. Against Old Colony, we only lost by three; Upper Cape, they lost by one; South Shore, they only lost by two. I think we’ve shown we can hang with some great teams.”

Regardless of what happens going forward, Conti said he was proud of the way the seniors performed during his first year at the helm.

“They’re a great group of girls,” he said. “They work really hard at what they do. When I gave them for a challenge, they went for it.”


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