Beware the Bear? Early hints in win over Housatonic
THOMASTON – Beware the Bear?
The question mark is for first game purposes. Opening night is not about definites or making statements. Often it is about shaking off the cobwebs, getting your basketball feet back again and reving up for a four month journey. But there are hints, clues to be found about what might be.
Here’s a big hint from Thomaston’s 46-17 dismantling of defending Berkshire League champion Housatonic Monday night. The Bears could be very, very good.
“(The league) doesn’t know…..,” said Thomaston coach Bob McMahon.
Start with the Bears’ defense which was old school, harassing, bothersome, relentless. All of which made it a long night for Housatonic and assuredly sat well for a bevy of the Bears championship past in the crowd that l included Abby and Gabrielle Hurlbert, Morgan Sanson, Casey Carangelo, Julia Quinn, Nicole Schafer, Alexa Sanson and Alexa Milius.
Housatonic’s talented Sydney Segalla, was surrounded all night and worked hard to score 13 of the team’s points while the rest of the team was limited to four. At one point, the Mountaineers went 14:17 without a basket while being outscored, 23-1.
“We spend at least half of practice on defense,” said rising sophomore Sydnee Eggleton. “We talk a lot on defense and know that it will lead to offense.”
The defense kept the Bears propped up while the offense struggled most of the first half. The Bears led, 19-6, despite shooting just 8-of-28 from the floor. But the final 16 minutes offered up one of those hints.
The Bears knocked down five 3-pointers in the second half and offensively Emma Kahn and Eggleton led the way for the night with 13 points each. Hint – take notice of this duo. Kahn has an outside eye and can take it inside Eggleton has worked hard on her game in the offseason
The 5-foot-10 sophomore showed a maturing game underneath and new weapon – long range shooting.
“I worked all summer, wherever there is a gym I’ll be there,” said Eggleton. “I worked on just being more aggressive and my moves to the basket.”
“She works hard at the game she loves,” said McMahon.
Buoyed by the duo and the defense the Bears led, 34-10, after three quarters officially dismissing any chance of drama.
For the youthful Mountaineers it was a tough night in what will be a rebuilding season to an extent. Coach Steve Dodge was not even sure who his starting five would be until game time.
‘We are young. Thomaston hit a couple threes, we made a couple of errors and we were down, 30-6,” said Dodge. "Thomaston is a program with history with a great coach. There is a lot of pride in the program and this building. Thomaston is one of the most physical teams we will play and the question is will we stay mentally tough. We are not use to losing so will we go home scratching our heads and wondering what happened. We will learn from this. “
It was Game 1 of a long season. But there were hints to be had with a close watch. Beware the Bear?
“We are ready for it,’ said Kahn. “We box out, overtalk and sprint. We will see where it takes us.”