Patrick, Solid Defense Lift Taconic Girls Over Athol

By Stephen Sports
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CHESHIRE, Mass. -- The Taconic girls basketball team Saturday held Athol to five points in the first half and no points in the second quarter en route to a 60-27 win in the second game of the Coaches Vs. Cancer Showcase at Hoosac Valley.
Tamia Patrick scored 14 points, and Ashley Rufo added 10 for Taconic, which improved to 4-5 this winter.
The big difference was Taconic's press, which helped produce 18 first-half turnovers by Athol.
The designated visitors coughed up the ball on six straight possessions to open the second quarter.
"We were a little concerned with coming out strong, being a day game and you're a little off your routine in a game like this," Taconic coach Matt Mickle said. "We talked about coming out with some energy and putting the pressure on -- running the floor, making sure we're playing good defense off the ball, not just on the ball.
"And I thought we executed that."
After Athol tied the game at 2-2 on a bucket by Destiny Wrigley, it did not get another field goal until its first possession of the second half.
Meanwhile, Taconic used a 13-0 run to build a 15-2 lead midway through the first quarter when Ayanna Moody (eight points) scored in transition.
It was 19-5 with about a minute and a half left in the quarter when Riana Gittens set up Summer Jadallah (eight points) for a bucket at the top of the key to start a 16-0 run to half-time.
In the second half, Mickle mixed in liberal doses of his bench players, giving them valuable playing time and Athol a chance to score 22 points.
"It's certainly good to get everybody in," Mickle said. "Most of them got in and most of them got into the scorebook. I'm definitely happy for the kids who don't get to play a lot to get in today and contribute."
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