GROTON — Sometimes a great team is most dangerous when they are wounded. That was the lesson that the Groton-Dunstable girls’ basketball team learned on Tuesday night. Despite playing without MaryBeth Ash, the reigning MVP of Mid-Wach B, Westboro handled their business efficiently, handing the Lady Crusaders a 56-27 defeat.
“Against good teams, little mistakes can lead to big breaks and that was the difference tonight,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Mark Hennelly. “We had a lot of quality shots close to the basket but we couldn’t connect on them. When you play a quality team, you have to hit the easy shots.”
The Lady Rangers came out firing on all cylinders, reeling off the first 10 points of the night. Emily Mongeau ran the show, handing out three assists while adding a 15-foot jumper while Danielle Coffey worked the inside, scoring five points, including a three-point play that made it 10-0 four and a half minutes into the contest.
During the Westboro run, the Lady Crusaders played sloppy basketball. Groton-Dunstable turned the ball over five times and missed three shots, not getting on the board until Alison MacLeod knocked down a 17-foot jumper off a Sandra Lanier feed at the 10:56 mark.
Trailing 14-2, the Lady Crusaders made a small stand to get within striking distance. MacLeod had three points while Kelley Hutchinson and Gillian Rooney added buckets as Groton-Dunstable put together a 7-2 spurt to get within seven at 16-9.
At three other points (18-11, 21-14 and 23-16), the Lady Crusaders got within seven points. However, Groton-Dunstable could not seem to get any closer. Buckets to close out the half by Coffey and Annette Kristiansen allowed the Lady Rangers to push the lead to 11 at 27-16 heading into the break.
Neither team could find the hoop in the early going of the second half as nearly three minutes went off the clock before Mongeau converted a lay-up. Eva Mahan answered for the Lady Crusaders with a short jumper that cut the advantage to 11 at 29-18. However, that was as close as the game would get for the remainder of the evening.
Westboro proceeded to go on a 15-4 run to blow the game open. Five different players contributed at least two points, led by six points from Kristiansen, including an offensive rebound and put-back that led to a traditional three-point play that made it 44-22.
From that point on, Groton-Dunstable never seriously challenged. The saying, “they can’t buy a bucket” took new meaning on this night as the Lady Crusaders squandered chance after chance from inside five feet but could not seem to get anything to fall, scoring only five points over the final 10 minutes of the game as the Lady Rangers continued their dominance in league with the 29-point win.
“They (Westboro) are capable of big spurts of scoring and they showed that tonight,” said Hennelly. “I thought we executed well up until we shot the ball. We got good shots, we just didn’t hit them. As has been the case for a while, we need to become more consistent on offense if we are going to win games.”
MacLeod paced Groton-Dunstable with nine points, 11 rebounds and three steals. Heather Moody came off the bench to score four points and play sound defense while Lanier chipped in three points, five rebounds and four assists.
Coffey led a balanced Lady Rangers’ attack with 12 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Kristiansen finished with 10 points and five boards. Alli LeClair added nine points, 15 rebounds and three steals while Mongeau chipped in seven points, four assists and five steals.