NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain girls basketball team started off strong against Wilbur Cross Friday evening. The second half, however, was a different story.
The Hurricanes were outscored 42-15 over the final 16 minutes of play as they fell to Governors 56-28.
“We battled hard, that's a good team that we faced,” New Britain head coach Marc Wesoly said. “It was a great first half, I told my assistant Mike [Jones], ‘I wish we could go home now’, but we didn’t have our shots falling like they normally do.”
Inanna Rice scored the only three points for New Britain (3-2) in the third quarter, while Wilbur Cross (3-2) scored 14.
The Governors’ Tyannah Tucker was the leading scorer of the evening with 16 points. Her teammate, Anaija Ricks, wasn’t too far behind Tucker, scoring 13 points of her own.
Rice, though, was soon lost for the remainder of the night.
With less than 10 seconds left in the third quarter, Rice hit the floor as her teammate, Saniya Pellegrini, and the Governors’ Ricks fell on top of her knee, taking Rice out for the remainder of the game.
“When Inanna Rice got hurt, I think some of us kind of got down,” New Britain point guard Gabby Roy said. “But, we kept fighting so that’s all we can ask for.”
But it was miscommunication, fouls and turnovers that were the cause of the Hurricanes’ sloppy second half.
“We knew they were going to come out after us and we were prepared for it,” Wesoly said. “We just didn’t understand how hard it as going to be and that was the difference. We went from have six turnovers in the first half to having about almost 30.”
As the fourth quarter rolled around, New Britain was down by 10, 28-18, as Wilbur Cross took advantage of the situation, going on a four-point run followed by a seven-point run at the end of the period to finish off the game.
It was a much different game in the first half.
Up a point going into halftime, Maya Slisz and Rice each scored once in the first half, while Roy hit a free throw and a three-point goal to tie the game 8-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The Hurricanes then outscored the Governors 7-6 in the second quarter to gain the one-point advantage.
“Like coach said, the first half was great,” said Roy, who led all New Britain scorers with 10 points. “We came out with a lot of energy, we attacked our game plan. The second half we knew they were going to come out fast and they did.”
“Offensively for us, we handled their low pressure in the first half,” Wesoly said. “Then normally, we end up putting four guards out there but our shots that normally fall for us just didn’t tonight and like I said before, that’s the game of basketball.”
Now, will have five days to make a few corrections as it gets prepares to face Wethersfield on Jan. 4 to start the New Year.
“I think this is the first team this year that has really gotten into our faces,” she said, “But with hard work and practice we’ll be able to overcome it.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org