Bears Bop Highlanders
Bears Bop Highlanders
THOMASTON – Losses don’t linger for the Thomaston High girls basketball team. Not that the Bears lose much, but every now and then when an opponent ends up with the higher score, coach Bob McMahon’s club just picks up and moves on.
For just the second time this season Monday night, the Bears entered a game coming off of a defeat after dropping a decision to Housatonic Friday night. Looking for a little post loss depression? Maybe a little kick in the confidence for a young team?
Look again. None to be found here.
The Bears (11-2) dusted off the Mountaineer memory with a solid defensive effort and a couple of timely offensive performances from freshman Abby Hurlbert and junior Laura Miller each with 13 points to grind their way past Northwestern Regional, 42-23.
“It was a great response,” said McMahon. “After getting man-handled the last four minutes against Housatonic I thought we showed a lot of maturity. Especially if you add in that we didn’t have a great start.”
Simply put, the start was ugly. How ugly? How about no points for more than six minutes with the first 12 possessions looking like this – six missed shots, five turnovers and two missed foul shots.
But, the Highlanders were never able to take advantage, struggling with their own problems, and only built up a 5-0 lead. The Bears finally righted the ship with Hurlbert draining a three-pointer from the top of the key with 1:39 to go in the period and it proved to be the offensive spark needed.
By the end of the first quarter, Maggie Eberhardt had added another three-pointer and the Bears led, 8-7. Consecutive baskets on a nice backdoor cut by Miller and a Hannah Martin layup put the Bears up, 12-7, and they would never relinquish the lead.
“(Northwestern) frustrated us in the first period but once we got the mindset to go to the basket things started to happen,” said McMahon.
The Bears, who struggled often with 26 turnovers on the night, received help from a Highlander team that was never able to get untracked. At one point, Northwestern went almost six minutes with just one basket while struggling in the turnover department themselves (24 for the night).
Northwestern shot just 9-for-40 on the night, with a three-point fourth quarter. The Highlanders woes had coach Fred Williams devouring the lollipop he was working on in record time in the second half.
“We were making good progress I thought,” said Williams after his team slipped to 8-6 on the season. “But the last couple of games, the fluidness is just not there and not just offensively, but defensively too. We shot 21 percent in the first half and they shot 40 percent. Part of it is our shot selection and part is their pressure. But you have to shoot at least 35 percent to have a chance.’
The game’s sloppy demeanor kept the outcome up in the air going into the final quarter with Thomaston holding a 27-20 lead. But, the Bears quickly took care of that with a run of 15 straight points to build the edge to 42-20.
Hurlbert started the run with a driving hoop and then finished it with her second three-pointer off the glass, and third for the game.
“Northwestern is a good team but because of Housatonic when we didn’t play our best, we learned from that,” said the Bears Laura Miller. “We pressed them to keep them to a minimum of points.”
As far as Thomaston captain Hannah Martin is concerned it was just the Bears proving themselves once again.
“It puts us back where we were,” said Martin. “People underestimate us and still do.”
Thomaston 42, Northwestern 23
Northwestern (8-6): Nicole Folino 5 1 11, Rasa Hamel 1 0 2, Emily Legeyt 0 0 0, Shanley McClave 0 0 0, Areille Oemecke 0 0 0, Kristin Olson 0 2 2, Sarah Raftery 2 0 5, Kaci Seibert 1 1 3, Totals 9 4 23
Thomaston (11-2): Hannah Russo 0 0 0, Sarah Hafele 0 0 0, Jen Gadomski 0 0 0, Abby Hurlbert 5 0 13, Hannah Martin 2 1 5, Sydney Keith 0 0 0, Mimi Carr 0 0 0, Kellie Burns 0 0 0, Maggie Eberhardt 3 4 11, Laura Miller 6 0 13, Totals 16 5 42
Northwestern 7 6 7 3—23
Thomaston 8 11 8 15—42
3-point goals: NW – Raftery 1; T – Hurlbert 3, Eberhardt 1, Miller 1