With one more conference game on the schedule, Old Colony girls’ basketball has one game left to win in order to win back-to-back Mayflower Small Vocational titles. Having only lost one game all season, the Cougars continue to show why they’re the force within the league and have the firepower to make a run in the upcoming MIAA Tournament.
This season has seen the emergence of freshman Savanna Halle, who is averaging 13.7 points per game. With freshman talent, though, there’s always the concern that teams will figure out the young talent once opponents come up the second time on the schedule.
That has yet to be an issue for the Cougars.
“She’s one of our weapons; you can’t just isolate and stop her,” Old Colony coach Craig Lincoln said. “We have other weapons on the floor that if you isolate her it will allow Abby (Cioper) or (Katherine) Kirby or anyone else to go off on any given night. I think we’re a more complete team than people give us credit for. And because of that, it makes it hard to just guard one person.”
While Halle has been the surprise this season, the team leader continues to be Cioper, who has returned from last season’s injury as effective as ever. But the senior captain does more than just lead the team with 16.2 points per game; she helps the team battle through adversity on a nightly basis.
“Her presence on the floor, being a senior that has a ton of experience, the ability to calm her teammates down when a situation gets a little bit out of control,” Lincoln said, “She has this calm way about her to get the younger kids in line and do the things they need to do.”
With Cioper leading the team and Halle providing consistent scoring, along with Kirby’s 9.1 points a night, the Cougars have a chance to also be back-to-back Vocational Tournament Champions. With that and the MIAA Tournament not far away, the Cougars have a lot to prepare for.
But Lincoln is doing everything he can to keep his players in the moment.
“I minimize the information I give to them (about teams ahead),” Lincoln said. “We try to do it one game at a time. We talk about Bill Belichick, and obviously we’re not the Patriots, but the mentality of dealing with just today. We have control of just today. We’ll worry about tomorrow when we get there.”
Lincoln has a general awareness of the teams he’ll deal with at the MIAA Division 4 South Sectional Tournament. He’s also aware that who the Cougars play is out of his control.
“We know that’s it’s a tough Division 4 South schedule,” Lincoln said. “We’re hoping that we get a good draw and win the first round game. We’ll see what happens with round two when it’ll be a roll of the dice with who you get. There are definitely some more talented teams that we have to face in that tournament.”
The Cougars (14-3, 6-1 Mayflower Small) visit South Shore on Friday with hopes of locking up the Mayflower Small Vocational Title.
Tabor’s boys’ squash team split its last dual match, defeating Phillips Exeter Academy 4-3 but falling 2-5 to St. Paul’s School.
Aly Hussein continues to dominate the high school squash world, extending his two-year winning streak with a 3-0 win against St. Paul’s No. 1 player, while also earning a win against Exeter’s top player. Owen Sughrue (Marion) turned out to have the decisive win against St. Paul’s No. 4 player, sweeping for a 3-0 finish.
Old Rochester Regional
Old Rochester/Fairhaven boys’ hockey clinched the South Coast Conference championship with a 4-2 win over Apponequet on Saturday, in a season where ORR/Fairhaven coach Eric Labonte and his players didn’t think they were the team to beat.
Tayber Labonte had two goals and an assist in the clinching game. Zak Labonte finished with three assists, while Owen Powers and Ryan Raphael scored the other two goals and one assist each.
Tayber Labonte continues to be one of the top players in the state and is tied for ninth in points, scoring 24 goals with 19 assists on the year. Raphael is also in the top 50 players (44th) in points with 31 (13 goals and 18 assists).
ORR/Fairhaven will begin its preparation for another MIAA Tournament run, having already qualified for the tournament and improving its record to 12-3-2 (9-0-2 SCC) after Saturday’s win.
High School Sports Update
By Nick Friar