Sparks Slip Past Comets, Mercury Top Liberty
Eagles outgun Terriers in Intermediate thriller, 34-28.
(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by the coaches and administrators of the Tewksbury Girls Basketball League.)
SPARKS 12 COMETS 8
The Sparks played an incredible game, showcasing their solid passing, good shooting, and strong defense as they won their 3rd game of the year. The Sparks jumped out to an early 8-0 lead but watched as the Comets slowly caught up. By the 4th quarter, the Comets inched back to within 2 points before a final Sparks basket was made with two minutes remaining.The scoring was led by Brianna Walker and Kerry Shea as they both scored 4 points each. Alexa Harrington and Abigail Naugler each contributed a basket as well. Abigail's basket in the final 2 minutes was crucial as the Comets were making a strong and exciting push to catch the Sparks. The entire team played strong defense but Surabhi Keesara and Abigail Naugler shined on the defensive end. Surabhi had a couple of steals down low while Abigail secured the center delivering a handful of blocks. Sarah Molander and Julia Giaimo each had a couple of shot attempts and were instrumental on the defense. Alison Pellegrino offered a solid presence in the three quarters that she played by making solid passes and drawing the defense away from other players allowing them to score. It was a very uplifting and confidence boosting moment for the Sparks. The team executed flawlessly on the practice drills from the week. The confidence for the entire team has increased tremendously.
The Comets played the Sparks this weekend and came up short for the first time this season , losing their first game 12 to 8. The comets down 3 players came out slow in the first half allowing 8 points and scoring none. We came out strong in the second half trying to overcome the 8 point deficient, lead by the scoring of Leanne Durham 6 points and Meghan Ostertag 2 points, but in the end we just could not catch them. Madison Bourassa , Meghan Ostertag, and Morgan Woodman continued to play tough defense on the top of the zone, and Shannon Crowley, Kiley Tibbetts Leanne Durham, and Rachel Conway rebounded and kept the interior defense anchored. This was a big game for the girls building confidence in themselves and their teammates.
The Shooting Starzz played a great game on Saturday. The girls continue to succeed with no travel players but rather a balanced attack, great teamwork and hard work. Leading the charge was Marissa Ladderbush (8 pts, 4 Reb 2 stls), Kenzie Kennison (2pts, 5 Steals) Daisha (Down-Low) Thompson (6 pts, 8 reb & 1 steal), Isabella Beyloune (1 Reb & 1 Steal), Amber Buttaro (4 pts, 6 reb & 1 steal), Leah Veloz (2 pts, 3 reb & 1 steal), Gianna Bourassa (1 Reb 5 Steals), Rachael Strangie (2 Reb), Megan Cunningham (2 reb) & Ava Nickerson (1 reb).
The Lynx played great defense in the 1st half holding a very strong Starzz team to only 8 points and could have easily have been only 4 points. However the offense struggled and besides getting a lot of good shooting chances in the 2nd quarter could not get anything to fall in the net. Sarah Milne played great in her 1st action at point guard executing the game strategy as it was drawn up resulting in the great scoring opportunities. In the 2nd half Grace Morris nailed a long jumper to close the score to 8-2. However the talent of the Starzz wore down the Lynx defense and they were able to stretch the lead the rest of the game. Molly O’Neill and Elizabeth Stephens got involved on both ends of the court in the final quarter and continue to improve each week. Grace and Marissa Brangiforte let the team with 3 steals each. Sarah led the team in rebounds with 6 followed by Marissa with 4 and Kendall Donahoe with 3. Kendall also had 4 blocks.
MERCURY 14 LIBERTY 4
Emily Puccia and Kristina Johnson led the Mercury with scoring. Great rebounding by Madelyn Berry and Becky Giles and excellent hustle on both ends of the court by Amber Kelly. Great team effort by Mercury for their first win of the season.
Team Liberty started off a bit slow on defense, allowing some quick points by the Mercury, but got they more aggressive in the remainder of the game and demonstrated their usual tenacity on defense, and created many turnovers. The team passing continues to improve and they got a good number of shots off, but unfortunately, the ball just wasn’t dropping for them. Hailey Bedley was the sole scorer for the Liberty, scoring 4 points. Defensively, Halle Carciofi, Faith Mazzipica , Rebecca DeFrancesco and Kendra Waugh all showed their usual hustle. Madi Sjostedt and Caitlyn Fiore both did a great job at the point, with good passes and ball handling. Rena Ruggiero, Alexis Hillis and Julia Garland continue to contribute on both ends of the court with good passing and lots of hustle!!
MYSTICS 10 MONARCHS 4
The Mystics played shorthanded without three of their veterans and were still able to step up and come from behind against a very strong Monarchs team for the win. In the 2nd quarter Jessica Smith was able to get us on the board and with a nice basket and Stephanie Mercurio found a crease and drove to the hoop and laid it in for another 2 points. The defense did a great job and were able to hold to the Monarchs to 4 first half points. They all got better as the game went along as they became more determined. In the 3rd quarter Jessica Smith once again went into the paint and made another huge basket and finished with 4 points on the day. In the fourth quarter and still hanging onto a slight 6-4 lead, Rebecca Smith once again took control of the scoring. She came out with great determination and made two huge baskets for us and was once again able to seal the win. Great team effort by all as we seen this team take a huge step forward without some key players. This Mystics team seems to be coming along nicely now and we are starting to see them come together as we look to improve in the second half of the season and have a chance when it counts, at the end.
STORM 16 ROCKERS 8
Team Storm Continued their winning ways,Christine Santos had 12 points, Stephanie and Rachel Lemus rounded out the scoring with 2 points each.Devyn Veits and Brigh Cote controlled the offense with with several great passes while Mikela Enax and Sydney Crowly played fabulous defense.Olivia Axson,Heather Mclaughlin and Elisabeth Lewis controlled the boards for team storms fifth victory in a row.
EAGLES 34 TERRIERS 28
After a two week layoff, the Eagles would face the last undefeated team of the Intermediate league.
A dominating defense tasked with shutting down and slowing down the leagues fastest guard,
Marissa Doherty. Holding her to two points would seem to have solidified a close game, however,
no one told Kaylee Leon. Kaylee Leon, Eagles first round draft pick, would score a game high 6 points.
All of her points were assisted by Marissa. Knowing the Terriers were out to stop her, Marissa would find an open Kaylee down low on three separate occasions. Kaylee would share offensive star of the game with Shaylee Puleo, who had a career high 12 points, none more important than her two free throws at the end which would prove to be the game winners. Sammy Suroweic, Sarah Constantino would pitch in two points and Maddie Wescott finished with 10. This game featured four lead changes and a flurry of offensive and defensive battles. The Eagles were fortunate to be on the winning side at the end.
WILDCATS 15 JAYHAWKS 13
It was a nail biter to the final buzzer as we matched against the Wildcats, but we came up short in the end. With only 7 players on the bench for the first half of the game the girls put up a great fight! Leading the team with blocks today and our defensive player of the game was Olivia Powers as she played her best game of the season so far! She was everywhere the ball was and stopped everything in her path. Emily Burns(2) was right behind her with block after block and steal after steal! Tayla Spezzano(3) was her usual "tiger" on both ends of the court pestering the Wildcats offense and putting up many shots on net. Meghan Graszak stepped up today as guard and played it like a pro making sure to be in the right spot at the right time! Victoria Horton was also a thorn in the Wildcats side as she kept strong pressure on the ball along with Chelsea Pellegrino(4) who also had many great steals and took them to the hoop. Emily Saunders worked hard moving the ball up the court and made some great attempts on net. Late arrivals Michaela Svendsen(2), Britney Bourassa(2) and Caitlin Panessiti gave it their all trying to keep the momentum going for the team grabbing every loose ball and crashing the boards. We didn't come away with the win today, but the girls all knew they played a great game!
COUGARS 23 HUSKIES 18
The Huskies played a good game against a tough Cougars team. The Huskies were led in scoring by Victoria Mirabito, Lisa Devito, Emily Amaral and Sarah Sullivan. Andrea DeFina and Lily Wyatt played solid games and had some big rebounds in the middle. Madison Bugley and Kiley Barrett played solid games on defense and had some big rebounds for the Huskies. Nicole Lucia and Stefanie Cunningham had a lot of good shots and helped out on defense, Kayla Marshall once again played a great game on defense and had 2 foul shots.
BLAZERS 18 SONICS 17
The Blazers withstood their toughest test of the year to remain undefeated on the season. They knew it would be a tough game coming off a long holiday break and missing three key players. However team defense was the Blazers key to victory on this day holding a strong Sonics team to only 4 1st half points. Behind the strong offensive play of Caleigh Finneral (8 points) in the 1st quarter the Blazers retained a 10-4 lead at halftime. In the 2nd half the Sonics revealed a strong press and man-to-man defense which frustrated the Blazers. However the strong defense of Taylor Donahoe (10 rebounds and 4 blocks) and the clutch shooting of Ariana Calouro (6 points) helped the Sonics maintain a 16-11 lead entering the final quarter. The Sonics continued to battle and close the gap however and if it wasn’t for the great team rebounding (Caleigh with 10 and Caitlin Carroll with 14) to limit their 2nd chance opportunities and the fantastic shot by Makayla Calouro the Blazers would not have come away with the victory. Makayla scored her 1st basket of the season and proved to be the winning shot in the 18-17 victory. The rest of the team contributed in the defensive effort with Lauren Strong with 3 steals and Emily Duquette with several rebounds. Also scoring for the Blazers was Lauren with 2 points.
MAGIC 23 PACERS 13
The Magic was looking to start off a Happy New Year against the Pacers, as December was not kind to the Magic. Both teams looked a little slow in the first half in a back and forth affair, with Nicole Petherbridge (6 pts) having the hot hand early on for the Magic. The Magic came alive in the 3rd quarter, with scoring by Heather Doyle (4pts) and Meg Braciska (5 pts) on some nice fast breaks and steals. Rachel Langone had some great steals and defensive play adding 2 pts, and Sarah Baptista added 2 pts on a nice assist from Braciska. Michelle Creedon added 4 pts while showing off a great outside shot. Cassie Froio, Ashley Figucia, Samantha Powers, Creedon, and Sarah Ward played great defense in the 4th to hold off a Pacers final push and earn the win for the Magic.