Wahconah Girls Shut Down Lenox in Road Win

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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LENOX, Mass. -- For a while, the Wahconah-Lenox girls basketball game looked like a true “throwback Thursday,” complete with lids on top of the peach buckets.
But after combining for just two points in the first four-plus minutes, the teams picked up the pace -- or, at least, Wahconah did.
Cassie Tobler scored a game-high 14 points to lead Wahconah to a 44-15 win and a 2-1 record heading into the holiday break.
Wahconah coach Liz Kay said her young team was not deterred by its slow start.
“It’s a game of runs, right?” Kay said. “This is a group that gets along really well. They come together instead of walking away when adversity hits.
“We’re still very young. It was a good crowd, and I think that can sometimes spark you in one direction or another. And it took us a little time to get used to it. For us, it’s Game 3 with a new and young group playing different roles.”
Julia O’Connor had the game’s first basket on the 11th possession between the two teams, scoring in transition to put Wahconah up by two. Abbie Steinman scored a minute later with a couple of free throws.
Later in the quarter, Maria Gamberoni had one of her seven first-half steals and dashed to the other end for a lay-up to make it 7-0, and Tobler pushed the lead to nine points with a bucket in the post.
Lenox (2-2) rallied to get within three at 11-8 early in the second quarter, but Wahconah scored the next seven to establish its first double-digit lead.
Suzy Stefanik capped that run with a basket in the post to make it 18-8, but Lenox answered with a Jade Alward 3-pointer to get within seven at half-time.
The Millionaires managed just five field goals on the night and just four points in the second half -- a triple and a free throw from Nicole Gamberoni in the third quarter.
Lenox coach Mike Nykorchuck said he gave himself “90 percent” of the blame for Lenox’s anemic offense.
“I hurt us the most because we weren’t prepared for that 1-3-1 zone,” Nykorchuck said. “It’s just that time of year when we haven’t put it in, and I’ll take the blame. All night, we scrambled to make adjustments, and to do it on the fly, it isn’t always easy. With a more veteran team, maybe you can make those adjustments on the fly, but … we just weren’t prepared for a 1-3-1.
“Then, I think we got down on ourselves, and we didn’t have the energy level we usually do.”
O’Connor finished with nine points and seven rebounds for Wahconah. Gamberoni scored six with a game-high eight boards.
Tobler did most of her damage in the second half, scoring 10 of her game-high 14 after the break.
“We really worked hard to get the ball inside her, and she took advantage of that opportunity,” Kay said.
Wahconah is off until next Thursday, when it travels to face Frontier. Lenox is home next Wednesday against Taconic.
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