After winning the Mayflower Athletic Conference Small Vocational Championship and the Massachusetts Vocation Championship, Old Colony girls’ basketball is picking up right where it left off.
The Cougars are off to a 3-0 start, having won all three games by double figures: 49-34 over Southeastern; 69-38 against Diman; and 49-22 to start the year at Tri-County. Wins are to be expected, with Craig Lincoln, the reigning Mayflower Small Coach of the Year, still in charge, but the manner in which Old Colony has done it is what’s been so surprising – with dominating offense.
“I’m pleased to see this early in the season with a group of girls that’s learning to play with each other,” Lincoln said.
One reason for the thriving offense has been Abby Cioper’s return after she dealt with injuries in the 2016-2017 campaign. Her 25-point game against Diman has been the highlight so far after scoring 10 in the Cougars’ well-balanced win over Tri-County.
But the surprise so far has been Old Colony’s freshman guard, Savanna Halle, who scored 20 against Diman and led the Cougars with 14 in the win over Southeastern. She was Lincoln’s best-kept secret for about five minutes of the season, but teams will soon know that Cioper is not the only Cougar to worry about on offense.
“We don’t want anyone to know about her yet,” Lincoln said, who had a lot to say about Halle. “She’s been a nice addition. She’s got a lot to learn about the game. She’s learning how to not just be a set shoot and attack the rim a little bit, and how to be part of an offense.
“I think you can tell from youth basketball she was the main focus. Now, that’s not the style we play. We play that everyone has to touch the ball and everyone has to score the ball. She’s learning the team concept quite well at an early age, so it’s fun to watch.”
But, as always, Lincoln stresses defense as being the backbone of his team, particularly when he looks back at the 69-38 win over Diman. Although it’s one of the highest scoring games Old Colony has had under Lincoln in his career, his girls were most concerned with stopping Diman’s top-scorer, Mya Parker, who’d scored 20-plus points the last two times Diman and Old Colony met.
This time, she only scored 10.
“The defensive plan that we executed was done not perfect, but pretty darn close,” Lincoln said. “We did certain things on the defensive side of the ball that allowed us to have success.”
The Cougars also finished with 20-26 from the free throw line in the win over Diman. If Old Colony continues to not only create opportunities at the line, but also take advantage of them, they’ll be an even greater force to face throughout 2016-2017.
“That was definitely one of the best free-throw shooting performances I’ve seen as a head coach at Old Colony,” Lincoln said. “Just the fact that we were able to attack the rim and go to the foul line that many times was a big plus. Hopefully, we can see that more going forward.”
On the boys’ side of Old Colony basketball, Jake Jason and company earned their first win of the season with an 82-44 win over Tri-County after losing the season opener against Diman 58-56.
Jason followed up his season-opening 23-point outburst with a 24-point performance against Tri-County. Zach Soucy has been the Cougars’ No. 2 scorer in the early going, scoring 16 in the loss, 15 in the win.
Old Rochester Regional
ORR boys’ basketball is off to a hot start, having won its first two games, 72-69 over Bourne and 64-55 against Wareham. The Bulldogs had four players in double figures in the win against Wareham. Bennett Fox led the way with 18 points, followed closely by Cole McIntyre, who had 16. Jason Gamache score 12 points, and Colin Fitzpatrick had 10.
Fox also had eight assists, seven rebounds, and three steals for ORR. Meanwhile, Gamache had a double-double, also ripping down 10 rebounds.
After losing the season opener to Durfee, ORR girls’ basketball has won back-to-back games, taking down New Bedford 53-43, then Dartmouth 54-29. Cassidy Yeomans scored the game-high against Dartmouth, finishing with 18 points in the win. After a home game against Falmouth, the Bulldogs get another shot at Durfee on Friday, this time at home.
Tabor girls’ ice hockey won 3-2 in overtime against Phillips Andover Academy, taking third place in the Taft Tournament to head into winter break with a 7-1 record. After falling behind 1-0 in the first period, Annie Berry scored to make it 1-1 off an assist by Kelly Browne. Browne would later score a goal of her own to make it 2-1, only to see the lead vanish, forcing overtime with a 2-2 tie. That’s when Berry stepped up, scoring after 1:31 had passed in overtime, sealing the victory.
High School Sports Update
By Nick Friar