Bears struggle to win behind Carangelo
THOMASTON – It was short, not so sweet and direct as only Thomaston High girls basketball coach Bob McMahon can be – “We’ve got work to do.”
For most, a 13-point win on opening night with four new starters in the lineup and one expected starter missing due to injury would at least merit a measure of satisfaction. Maybe even a hint of a smile. Thomaston is not most. And there were no smiles floating around the Thomaston gym.
The Bears needed a big second half and got one from their biggest player, Casey Carangelo, to overcome an improved Northwestern team, 46-33. But the five-time defending Berkshire League champions’ 30th straight BL win was a struggle from the get-go.
The Bears shot 32 percent (16-50), turned the ball over 22 times and missed a dozen foul shots. Only four people scored with all the points except for four coming from Carangelo and Julia Quinn.
Don’t get the Bears wrong there was an upside as McMahon noted – “You’ve got to play through the struggles. If we can and win by 13, we’ll take it.” It was a typical Thomaston result, but nobody was fooled.
“We just didn’t come out with the intensity we should have,” said Carangelo who poured in 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. “We were laid back on defense and didn’t run our plays. We were sloppy, turnover city.”
The potential for a stunning result started to gurgle in the pot in the third quarter when Emma Propfe scored to knot the game at 23-23, capping off a 19-10 surge. However Carangelo is going to cure a lot of ills this year and there are few answers for her.
The 6-foot Division I St. Francis University bound senior came up with a steal and suddenly the new Bears looked like the old Bears for a while. The theft keyed a 16-2 spurt and most of the damage was done by Carangelo off passes from Quinn.
Quinn (10 points) followed the steal with a crucial 3-pointer and then it was Carangelo on a break, Carangelo for three consecutive layups off passes from Quinn and after a Quinn foul shot, another basket down low from Carangelo who had 12 points in the period. All of which resulted in a 39-25 lead.
“We needed to pick it up and play Thomaston basketball, this team doesn’t want to lose,” said Carangelo. “We needed to be calm and play our game.”
The Bears did get some performances to build on. Junior MacKenzie Doyle came off the bench to chase down eight rebounds. Quinn added eight rebounds. And senior Cam Capaldo while struggling with her shot, had seven boards and was a solid defensive source.
The Bears’ struggles were Northwestern’s confidence-booster. Playing with mostly juniors and sophomores coach Fred Williams sees a brighter future.
“I told the kids at halftime that no matter what happened what this showed was that we can play basketball,” said Williams. “In the third quarter we just missed some shots and turned the ball over. And we had nobody that can contend with Casey (Carangelo).”
“The other team was trying to win too,” said McMahon. “I thought the Northwestern kids played their hineys off.”
Thomaston was missing Alexa Milius who has been out due to a concussion but is expected to return within the next week. The Bears know this one won’t be good enough as the season moves on.
“We need to learn the flow of the team,” said Carangelo. “Now we know what we need to do.”
The past says the Bears have always gone out and done it. Stay tuned. In the meantime it was a victory to open the season.
Thomaston 46, Northwestern 33
Thomaston (1-0): Casey Carangelo 1110 32, Julia Quinn 3 1 10, Kaitlyn Root 1 0 2, Alexa Sanson 1 0 2, Cam Capaldo 0 0 0, Mackenzie Doyle 0 0 0, Emily Root 0 0 0, Erin Fainer 0 0 0, Sydney Stevenson 0 0 0, Totals 16 11 46
Northwestern (0-2): Abby Nelson 1 0 3, Marissa Swartley 1 0 2, Erika Swartley 2 2 6, Sydney Shaffer 0 0 0, Angela Richard 0 0 0, Natalie Lederman 0 0 0, Addie Hester 1 0 2, Morgan Daley 5 0 10, Gina Weingart 0 0 0, Emma Propfe 4 2 10, Sara Frieze 0 0 0, Totals 14 4 33.
Northwestern 4 14 7 8 - 33
Thomaston 12 9 18 7—46
3-point goals: T – Quinn 3, NW – Nelson 1.