Sandwich Lady Knights Win Battle To The Buzzer
By: Dan Crowley
“It was a character win,” Sandwich girls’ basketball coach Chris Gendreau said. “We could have packed it in several times, but we didn’t. Everyone played great. I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Lady Knights (6-5, 4-2 ACL) pulled off a 66-65 victory Tuesday night over Plymouth North with the winning shot coming with three seconds on the clock. Sandwich held a 35-31 lead at halftime, but the Eagles soared back, outscoring Sandwich, 16-6, in the third quarter to take a 47-41 lead entering the fourth.
“When we needed to turn it up a notch we did,” Gendreau said of his team. “Everyone did. Erin (Gendreau) had a huge fourth quarter with 11 points and Kenny (Antonowicz) had seven points in the fourth and made some good decisions with the ball.”
With 1:17 left in the game, the score stood tied at 61-61. North went up by four, but Antonowicz cut the lead to a basket with 42 seconds left. Gendreau then hit one from the line to make it a one-point game.
With nine seconds remaining, Plymouth North’s Riley Stefano stepped to the free throw line and missed both shots. Antonowicz pounced on the rebound and threw a long pass to Meg Harden, who was racing toward the far basket. The fast break ended in Harden landing the lay-up, leaving the Eagles two seconds and no chance to answer.
“I want to give credit to Plymouth North,” Coach Gendreau said. “They played well and are well coached. They really brought it to us. We hadn’t played since January 14. It’s tough to shake off the rust.”
The lead bounced back and forth through the opening quarter. The Eagles opened a four-point lead down the stretch, but a three-pointer from Harden followed by two more points from the line put SHS on top, 12-11. Alyssa Buttrick hit a jumper off an inbound pass from Frani Davis, and then Harden collected a loose ball and put it up for two more. Antonowicz then launched Davis on a fast break for a lay-up to give Sandwich an 18-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter Antonowicz hit with a hook shot and Sidney Miller then stole the ball and pushed it outside to Katie Corey who buried a three-pointer as the Lady Knights pulled out to their largest lead of the night at 25-16.
North came back with six straight points. Emily Kent then hauled down a rebound and put it back up for two, but North hit for seven more points to take the lead, 29-27.
Kent hit a couple from the line to tie the game. Harden then scored twice in the final minute, with Davis stealing the ball and putting it in for two more and a 35-31 Sandwich lead at the break.
In the first half the Lady Knights struggled rebounding in the defensive end but played an aggressive floor defense that created 13 Eagle turnovers. In the third quarter North’s ability to rebound gave them multiple shots on each trip down the floor. As a result the Lady Knight lead evaporated. Plymouth North completely shut down Sandwich in the final five minutes of the third quarter as they outscored the Lady Knights, 14-0, to reclaim the lead, 47-41.
Corey opened the fourth with two points down low, and Gendreau hit a three-pointer. Gendreau then hit a jumper to make it a two-point game with 2:33 to play. At the two-minute mark Antonowicz sank a three-pointer off a pass from Gendreau, but the one-point Sandwich lead was short-lived as North pulled ahead, 59-58. With 1:30 on the clock Gendreau took a long three-point shot from the right side baseline that was nothing but net, but again North came back tying the game at 61-61 with 1:22 to go.
“This was truly a team effort,” Coach Gendreau repeated. “We were in a little bit of a funk in the first half, but we did some good things. Kylie Dolan and Shalynn Doherty had some positive minutes off the bench and Sidney (Miller) came up with two or three big steals. Alyssa Buttrick and Abby Weber came off the bench and provided some solid assistance on the boards for Emily Kent. Katie Corey guarded (Nicole) Grassi and did a great job and Frani Davis was just excellent all around.”
Harden led the scoring for the Lady Knights with 23 points. Gendreau had 13, Antonowicz added nine, and Davis finished with six. Plymouth North’s Nicole Grassi went 15-for-16 from the free throw line, adding to her game high 27 points.
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