GROTON – The Algonquin Tomahawks defeated the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders, 55-40, in girls’ basketball action Tuesday night at G-DRHS, but as G-D head coach Mark Hennelly affirmed, the game wasn’t even that close.
“It was a very disappointing performance,” Hennelly said. “I expected a lot more out of our team. It was by far our worst effort of the season.
The Crusaders had very little offensive rhythm in the first half and trailed 27-19 at halftime. They went on a small run to cut the Algonquin lead to five early in the third quarter before three turnovers fueled a 10-2 Tomahawk run to put them up 38-25 and effectively seal the game there. The woes were only compounded early in the fourth quarter when Lindsay Werner, who was playing her first game of the season off the bench after sustaining an injury during soccer season, fouled out with only two points and two rebounds.
“That was the nail in the coffin,” Hennelly said. “The entire night, everything was sloppy… the turnovers were awful… we’ve got to get back to work.”
“It was the first time we had a full complement of players, but we came up way short,” he added.
Algonquin, who led by as much as 18, was led by Emily Carens, the only player to score in double digits. She finished with 12 points, six rebounds, and four steals. Caroline Leonard chipped in eight points, three rebounds, and two assists.
“[Carens] is an outstanding player,” Hennelly said. “We knew that coming in, and we were prepared for the fact that she was going to be there, but we were certainly not up to the task of dealing with her.”
The lone bright spots for the Crusaders were the play of Jenna Plausse (eight points, six rebounds) and Ariana Lacombe (eight points, seven rebounds off the bench). Hennelly was especially pleased with Lacombe’s effort.
“I thought Ariana was fantastic,” Hennelly lauded. “By far she was the most energetic kid on the floor for us. She was sprinting up and down. That’s where it starts. You at least have to put forth the energy and the effort, and she gave us that tonight, so I’m very proud of her.”
The Crusaders actually outrebounded the Tomahawks 42-36. But Algonquin was much better at the free-throw line, shooting 21-for-33 (64%) compared to just 10-for-22 (45%) for G-D. Neither team made a three-pointer.
The Crusaders lost their second straight game to fall to 3-2 and are off until December 30th when they host Fitchburg. But Hennelly knows it’s still early in the season, and all is not lost.
“I’m okay with everything that’s gone on this season so far except for the effort tonight,” Hennelly said.