It had been a few weeks since the band had been back together, and the return of Amiyah Peters had the Mashpee High School girls’ basketball team playing with a rhythm that had been missing. The freshman guard’s return to the lineup helped Mashpee power past a gritty Nantucket squad, 60-36.
It was a second-half run by the Falcons that helped put the game away. Nantucket was hanging around throughout the first half, and had the game tied up at 20-20 with just a minute to play in the opening half.
Ashley Keleher then caught fire in the last minute. First the senior 1,000-point scorer hit a pull-up on the wing to give the team the lead, with 53 seconds to play in the half and, then with 25 seconds to go, she drained a three from the top of the arc to put her team on top by five. After a stop on defense Keleher got another chance to add to the lead, but her buzzer-beating attempt clanged off the back of the rim just before the horn sounded.
That surge by the Falcons all-time leading scorer helped pick things up for Mashpee, and it carried over into the third quarter. In the third, it was Hialeah Turner-Foster and Peters, who had missed two weeks with a knee injury, who took over the scoring load. The two guards combined for 11 points in the third and then put up 14 in the fourth. Turner-Foster scored all of her 15 points in the second half, while Peters had nine of her game-high 17 in the period. Keleher finished with 16 points.
Center Kalajia Moore was a big factor defensively for the Falcons. Her interior presence was a big problem for Nantucket as she blocked several shots and made the Whalers post players think twice before putting up a couple of others. She scored 10 in the game, six in the first quarter. Cheyenne Hendricks had a strong all-around game, and Stella Stecei, Maggie Connolly and Hailey Garcia all made contributions as well.
The win put the girls at 7-10 overall for the season. They played against Sturgis West last night, in a game that came after press time for the Enterprise. Mashpee entered that game needing to win four of its last five games to qualify for the postseason.
MHS has a busy week coming up. Tonight, February 14, the squad heads to Cohasset. They then will be at Hull on Sunday, February 16, at 2 PM, and at Nantucket on Tuesday, February 18, at 5 PM. They close out the regular season on Wednesday, February 19, with a 6:30 PM game at Bourne High.
Hull 43, Mashpee 35
The frustration was obvious as the Mashpee High School girls’ basketball team left the court last Friday night, February 7, after a 43-35 loss to visiting Hull.
Coach Chris Tresca may need a new dry erase board after whacking it on the bleachers after the game. On it were written some key stats, including the number 12, which was how many free throws the Falcons missed in a game that could come back to haunt them in the coming weeks.
Mashpee fell to 6-10 overall on the season. With six games remaining they can still qualify for the postseason with a 4-2 record down the stretch, but the loss did nothing to help their chances.
After allowing Hull to build the lead to 16 in the third quarter, 36-20, the Falcons began to fire back and dominated most of the fourth quarter, but they were never able to get back to even. Along the way there were many rimmed-out lay-ups and turnovers that devastated their chance to win the game.
Secondary scoring was also a big issue for Mashpee in the game. Ashley Keleher had 15, and Hialeah Turner-Foster chipped in 12 points, including two big second-half three-pointers, but scoring from other spots on the court were slim. Stella Stecei (4 points) was the only other member of the team to convert a second-half field goal against the Pirates.
Hull shot the lights out in the first half, led by the tandem of Jackie Diemer and Lauren Anastos. The senior captains for HHS brought plenty of energy from the South Shore down to the Cape. Diemer landed four treys in the game, including three in the first half, and had 14 points. Anastos was the best player on the court all night long and hit for 18 points to lead all scorers.
Mashpee’s pressure defense in the second half helped turn the tide of the game. Down 16 at the end of the third quarter, 38-22, Mashpee went on an 8-3 run to get within 11 with four minutes to go and closed the gap to eight with 2:20 remaining. Most of the points were either Turner-Foster lay-ups or Keleher free throws.
In the end, though, Mashpee did not have enough gas in the tank to complete the comeback. Hull was able to kill off the clock late and held on to win.