Before every game, Archbishop Williams’s girls' basketball head coach, Jim Bancroft emphasizes energy.
And it was defensive energy that led the No. 4 Archies to a 59-40 victory over their
Catholic Central rivals, No. 19 St. Mary’s Saturday at Emmanuel College.
The game was tight throughout the first half, with the Archies holding an 8-point lead at halftime.
But it was the Archies' suffocating half-court press and ball pressure in the third quarter that sparked a 12-2 run, forcing the Spartans into 10 turnovers and limiting St. Mary's to just 6 points in the third quarter.
“Our coach told us to focus on the ball defense, being patient on offense and really taking care of the ball,” said sophomore forward Alana Gilmer.
Archies opened up the game 4-0, but the Spartans refused to go away, led by junior guard Sharell Sanders, whose 14-point first half kept the Spartans in the game.
In the second half the Archies capitalized off turnovers caused by pressure on guard Sanders, who was limited to 4 points.
“We allowed her to dribble penetrate into the key too much [in the first half],” Bancroft said. “We weren’t contesting her shots too much and we talked about it at halftime that we have to go out and get her.”
“We just needed everyone to contribute and pick her up when we she was in their area.”
Bancroft used his bench throughout the game so his team could run on every possession.
“We were hoping to keep fresh enough so we can put our zone press on to get some steals and easy hoops because in the half court we’re still strugglin,” he said.
Abp. Williams was led by sophomore forward Gilmer with 15 points while senior guard Sara Ryan added 10 points. Leah Spencer and Olivia Conrad each chipped in 9 points.
The Spartans also received a big game from junior guard Sanders, who scored a game-high 18 points.
The Archies' (6-3) victory ends the Spartans (8-2) undefeated record in the league and they continue to remain unbeaten in league games.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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