NEW BRITAIN - Despite trailing by five at halftime, the Goodwin Tech girls basketball team scored 32 points in the second half to come back and beat O’Brien Tech 43-27 Tuesday night.
“We’ve been starting off slow,” Goodwin Tech head coach Jeffrey Bemis said. “We had a rough game against Portland Monday night, didn’t score much, and then we started out slow again today before the half.
“Good shots were going up. We had some layups that were just not falling in and it was just a matter of time before they started to make some, and they did.”
The Gladiators were only able to score three points in the first quarter and eight in the second.
After going down 16-11 at halftime, the Gladiators came out of the break on a mission.
With less than four minutes to go in the third quarter, Gladiators senior Paola Barbosa hit back-to-back baskets to take the lead, 23-22.
By the time the quarter ended, the teams were tied at 27.
Barbosa finished with a game-high 22 points. Tanija Russell added 12 points.
“We struggled a lot in the first half. We weren’t moving the ball well,” Barbosa said. “We were still trying to get used to everything. But in the second half, we came up with a new defense to guard their outside shooter. We worked the ball around and got them out of balance.”
Goodwin Tech outscored the Condors 16-11 in the third quarter and never looked back. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the Gladiators had little difficulty handling O’Brien Tech, closing out the final eight minutes on a 16-0 run, with Barbosa scoring eight points in the run.
“We changed up the defense in the second half, to stop Miranda McGuire,” Bemis said. “I think by stopping her, that helped a lot, because they really didn’t have much in the way of offense besides her, so we decided to shut somebody down and then we started making some baskets.”
The Gladiators were able to stop O’Brien Tech’s leading scorer McGuire, who finished the night with 12 points, including two three-pointers.
“[Russell], I had her playing number one for their team on defense, it was a boxing one,” Bemis said. “We put her man to man with her and she did an outstanding job with it.
“I thought [Barbosa] started picking it up on the offensive end. They started getting some more shots inside, sort of making some shots on the outside finally.”