Coming off dramatic victories over Oxford Hills and Windham, the Cheverus girls’ basketball team might have been ripe for a letdown Wednesday evening when it hosted Hampden Academy at Keegan Gymnasium.
But these Stags are immune to letdowns.
Fast starts in each half helped Cheverus gradually pull away for a 46-29 win and improve to 11-1.
“These girls just find a way to reboot every day,” said Coach Billy Goodman. “What they did Saturday (against Oxford Hills) was so special and then we had last night’s win, then they just started over today.”
Julia Kratzer set the tone with consecutive 3-pointers to give Cheverus a quick 6-2 lead. By the end of the first quarter, the Stags had an 18-8 advantage.
Cheverus wasn’t able to deliver the knockout blow, however, turning the ball over six times in the second quarter. Hampden Academy, playing without star guard Bella McLaughlin, stayed in it and was only down 24-13 after a jump shot from Camryn Neal.
The Stags then came out strong in the third quarter, as Maeve Kelly and Lillian Singleton hit consecutive 3s before another Singleton 3 pushed the lead to 33-15.
“We haven’t had good third quarters the past couple games, so (assistant) Coach (Bill) Whitmore told us the third quarter would be the biggest quarter and we had to secure our lead,” Kelly said.
After the Broncos (8-3) pulled within 15, Emma Lizotte scored on a bank shot and Hayley Jordan drove for consecutive layups to make it 39-18 heading to the fourth.
“We watched some film to get an idea of how (the Broncos) played, said Lizotte, who finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. “We wanted to get off to a fast start because we haven’t started games very well. We needed that for confidence.”
Cheverus also got 12 points from Singleton, nine from Kratzer, six from Kelly and four from Jordan, as its senior leadership to continues to shine.
“This is my third year here and to see the seniors grow has been really fun,” Goodman said. “They’re a special group. I call them the ‘Fab Five’ because they all do something to help the team.”
Haskell had 12 points for Hampden, which will host Cheverus next Wednesday.
By then, the Stags should be even stronger, as sophomore standout Maddie Fitzpatrick, who has missed 10 games because of a thumb injury, will be back in action. Fitzpatrick has been cleared to begin practicing Thursday.
“Maddie’s a really good player and will be super helpful to help her back,” Kelly said. “(Her absence) has helped us learn that we need other scorers instead of deferring to the easy option. I think it’s been good for us, but we’re excited to have her back because we love playing with her.”
Wednesday’s high school roundup: Undefeated Edward Little trips Greely