DALTON, Mass. -- Making his way to the bus after a 41-27 loss at Wahconah on Monday, Mount Everett coach Scott Rote stopped to take a reporter’s question.
He put down a bag of ice he was carrying for his team, and it broke open, spilling a few of the cubes.
A good metaphor for his team’s night?
“Yeah,” Rote said with a laugh. “Cold as ice, weren’t we? That was one of our worst shooting performances of the year.”
The Eagles managed just nine field goals and posted a two-point second quarter in the Berkshire County North-South crossover game.
Wahconah was a little more efficient, hitting 12 field goals. It also got 13 free throws and 17 points from Maria Gamberoni, who led all scorers as Wahconah (18-2) finished the regular season on a nine-game winning streak.
Gamberoni was the leader on offense but was brilliant on defense, committing five steals to help hold Mount Everett to its season-low point total -- eclipsing the 36 points Wahconah allowed the Eagles in a win back on Jan. 10.
“[Gamberoni] did a great job,” Wahconah coach Liz Kay said. “We were originally paying such close attention to Gwen [Carpenter], I think we were maybe a little out of sync at the beginning.
“Then we made some adjustments and certainly got some more steal opportunities.”
Carpenter finished with a team-high 13 points, leaving her at 1,991 points in her stellar career going into Tuesday’s Senior Night in Sheffield against Lee.
Madeline von Ruden scored six for the Eagles, who never were able to find a way to crack a Wahconah defense that has held opponents to 32 points or fewer in 10 games this winter. It didn’t help that Mount Everett missed shot after shot.
“I thought coming out of that second quarter was horrendous and coming out in that third quarter, we changed up offensive looks a little bit,” Rote said. “We got a lot of open looks after that. … We just couldn’t get a shot to fall.
“They played a tough double-up on Gwen on the top side, and it’s tough for her to get a shot. They’re so good at filling in; they release and the next man will pick her up. They’re so good at that. But I thought a lot of the shots we had were good.”
Despite its offensive woes, Mount Everett was able to hang around until midway through the fourth quarter.
A steal and lay-in for a conventional three-point play by Gamberoni and a Noelle Furlong free throw gave Wahconah a 29-19 lead at the start of the fourth, but Carpenter answered with her second 3-pointer of the game to get the deficit back to seven.
But Wahconah scored the next five: Morgan Marauszwski hit a jumper from the right wing and knocked down a triple for her only points of the game to make it 34-22 with two minutes left.
Down the stretch, Gamberoni made six straight free throws to ice it and send the cold-shooting Eagles (12-7) back into the cold night air.
Jillian Cote finished with nine points and 13 rebounds for Wahconah, which learns on Saturday when and against whom it will open play in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament.