The future from the freshman level looks good for Sandwich High School girls’ basketball. While the numbers were slim, there was plenty of talent and determination that carried the team to an 8-7 record with a very difficult schedule.
The Lady Knights opened their season on December 6 with a 37-25 victory over a tough Brockton squad.
“It was a great season opener,” Coach Dave Aycock said. “Everybody on the team scored. It was tied at 14-14 at the half and we came out in the second and played very well.”
Liz Siranosian led Sandwich with 10 points, including two 3-pointers.
On December 17 the Lady Knights notched their second win of the young season defeating Plymouth South by a score of 33-14. Noelle Seale led the Sandwich scoring with 10 points.
“We played a very good game defensively,” Coach Aycock said. “We only gave up five field goals the entire game. We were playing a lot of man-to-man defense at this point, but that was going to change.”
Bourne dealt the Lady Knights their first loss on December 28.
“We didn’t have a very good first quarter,” the coach admitted. “We fell behind 15-0, but in the second quarter we came back and outscored them 12-0.”
Trailing by three points at the break the Lady Knights were unable to close the scoring gap.
“We ran out of gas,” the coach said. “We only had six girls and Bourne was really pushing the tempo. It was hard to keep up.
Sandwich opened the new year with a 36-17 victory at home over Barnstable.
“We had some nice balanced scoring again in this game,” Coach Aycock said. “Everybody scored for us. By this point we were starting to play more zone defense as fouls were becoming a problem.”
Seale finished with nine points for the Knights and Sam Paige added eight.
“Sam was by far our fastest player,” the coach noted. “She anticipates very well and was probably in double digits in steals in every game we played this year. Once in the open court with the ball, it’s very hard for other teams to catch up with her.”
Another setback followed on January 4 with a 31-17 loss to Marshfield.
“They were a very aggressive team,” the coach said. “Their defense was at times overwhelming. We were playing catch up most of the game.”
Amanda Nardini led the scoring for the Lady Knights with seven points.
The next day the Lady Knights hosted Bourne and this time came away on top. With the score tied at 32-32 at the end of regulation, thanks to a 3-point shot by Seale at the buzzer, Sandwich outscore the Lady Canalmen 9-4 in the OT for a 41-36 win.
The Lady Knights got strong play from Tessa Wood, normally a member of the junior varsity squad, along with Heather Goddard and Abby Bates.
“Tessa had nine points,” Coach Aycock pointed out. “All three of those JV players help us out with defense, allowing us to play more aggressively. They did a very nice job.”
The team improved to 5-2 on the 11th with 25-23 victory at home over Plymouth North.
“We built up a pretty good lead, but they started to come back in the final quarter,” Aycock explained. “They had the momentum, but they ran out of time. That game was a lot of fun.”
Hannah Paige hit for six points for SHS.
“Hannah is one of our smallest players, but our lead rebounder,” the coach said. “She is extremely scrappy and that game came up with some big rebounds allowing us to maintain possession.”
Sandwich hosted Dennis-Yarmouth on the 15th losing 41-30.
“They were one of the better teams that I’ve seen in years,” the coach noted.
Jalene Austin had seven points for the Knights.
“Jalene is new to Sandwich,” Coach Aycock pointed out, “but she has played a lot of basketball. She did a really nice job this year for us.”
On January 19 Nauset came to town and edged the Lady Knights 24-22.
“We surged at the end of the game,” the coach said. “They had an eight-point lead after the third quarter and we outscored them 8-2 in the fourth, but we ran out of time.”
Seale led the Sandwich scoring with eight points and Siranosian added seven.
A loss on the 23rd to Martha’s Vineyard leveled off the SHS record at 5-5. The Lady Knights came back from the island with a 56-14 loss.
“Martha’s Vineyard doesn’t have a freshman team so we played their JV,” Coach Aycock explained. “It’s not unusual for them to drop a varsity player or two down to the JV team. We faced a very good team with a lot of skilled players.”
Seale led the Lady Knights with eight points, six of which were in the second half.
Sandwich was back at home and back in the win column on the 25th defeating Plymouth South 37-31.
“This was a much improved Plymouth South team,” the coach pointed out. “Still, we had everybody finish in the scoring. Sam Paige played some awesome defense with steal after steal that gave us a lot of extra possessions.”
The month of January came to a close for the freshman squad on the 30th at Barnstable, where they once again defeated the Red Raiders. Siranosian led Sandwich to their 38-6 victory with 11 points. By the half the Lady Knights had a comfortable 17-2 lead. Austin tossed in eight points and Hannah Paige came up big off the glass.
Sandwich opened February hosting Marshfield on the 1st.
“We were notoriously slow starters,” Coach Aycock said. “By the end of the first quarter we fell behind 14-2 and were forced to play catch up. In the second half we outscored them 15-13, but we couldn’t catch them.”
Nardini had six points for SHS, including a 3-pointer.
On the road on the 5th the Lady Knights suffered a 30-24 loss to Plymouth North.
“The girls had a lot of fight in them,” Aycock said. “We were down 17-11 at the half and they fought back. We outscored them 19-7 in the second half. They really worked hard for all 32 minutes. We had no subs, we just had five girls and we held them to just two points in the final quarter.”
Siranosian had nine points for SHS, with Sam Paige added five points, including a 3-pointer.
The season came to a close on the road at Nauset on January 12 with a 38-24 loss to the Warriors.
“The snowstorm had really thrown us for a loop,” Coach Aycock pointed out. “We hadn’t been able to practice and because of an injury, we played with just five girls for most of the game. We scored all of our points in the second half. The girls wanted to end it with their heads held high and they did. They fought back and never quit.
This was by far the scrappiest team I had,” Coach Aycock said. “These girls were willing to give and take a lot and do what it took to win. They were harder on themselves than I was on them. They were never satisfied and always working to improve. We had a really good group of athletes and they were a really good group of nice kids to be around. It was fun. I hope they all come back next year.”