The Everett High girls basketball team split six games during a busy past two weeks to remain over .500 with a 4-3 record.
The Lady Crimson Tide dropped contests to GBL opponents Medford, Somerville, and Cambridge in hard fought affairs, but topped GBL rival Malden and non league foes East Boston and Marblehead.
The Everett girls began their two week stretch against Medford in a game in which they led most of the way until Medford pulled ahead with about two minutes to go. The Lady Mustangs eventually prevailed by a 43-37 margin.
"It was a tough loss for us because we started out so well and played well throughout most of the game," said EHS head coach Tammy Turner. "I think a key factor too, was that this was only our second game of the season (it was Medford’s sixth) and we were not as ready as they were for a tight game at the finish."
Turner also noted that point guard Tori Cyrus was saddled with foul trouble for most of the contest, which hindered the Lady Crimson Tide both on offense and defense.
However, sophomore Amanda DeSouza was a force at both ends of the floor, scoring 13 points and hauling in 17 rebounds. "Amanda played a great game," said Turner. "She really stepped up and kept us in there." Michelle Fenelon led the Lady Crimson Tide with 15 points.
However, the Everett girls bounced back from that loss and got back on the winning track with a 57-25 thrashing of East Boston in a makeup of what originally had been the season opener that was postponed.
The Lady Crimson Tide led from start to finish, with Lisa Aylward topping the scoring chart with 13 points. Fenelon was next on the point parade with 11, followed by Zoulikha Madkour and Cyrus who chipped in with nine points apiece.
The girls’ roller coaster ride then took a dip with a 44-34 loss to Cambridge in a contest that was much closer than the final score might indicate. As was the case in the Medford game, the battle was a close one all the way, as the Lady Crimson trailed by just two points at halftime and by the same margin with two minutes to go.
"We just couldn’t seem to get over the hump," noted Turner. "We fouled Cambridge at the end, but they hit their free throws and then we were unable to put the ball in the basket."
Fenelon was the leading Everett scorer with 12 points, but Turner also lauded Michelle’s stellar defensive play throughout the game. DeSouza was next in the scoring department with nine points.
The Lady Crimson Tide rebounded with a 41-38 triumph over Marblehead of the Northeastern Conference last Sunday. Everett handily led most of the way, but Marblehead crept back toward the end to make the final score close. Fenelon reached double figures once again with a 15 point performance, while DeSouza also reached doubles with 13 points. Cyrus contributed seven points and Taylor Sweeney popped in four.
Turner noted the key contributions at the defensive end that were made by Aylward, Rachel Pierce, and Jackie Hanlon for their effort against Marblehead’s 6-2 center. "Lisa, Rachel, and Jackie worked hard and did a great job keeping her off the boards," said the coach. "That was a big factor in our victory."
The Lady Crimson Tide then made it two wins in a row with a 46-40 win over Malden that could be one of those games that at the end of the season may prove to be a key marker for the girls. Everett endured what Turner called "a horrible first period" that saw Malden take a 13-3 advantage. "We couldn’t hit anything," noted Turner.
However, after that tough first quarter, the Lady Crimson Tide did a 180 degree turnaround, as they limited Malden to just four points in the eight minute period while scoring 19 themselves to move out to a 22-17 lead at the intermission.
Everett then held the lead the rest of the way to claim a 46-40 triumph. Three Lady Crimson Tide reached double figures, with Cyrus netting 13 and Aylward and Fenelon scoring 12 each. Jackie Hanlon chipped in with four while also turning in what Turner lauded as a "great defensive game" against Malden’s center, who eventually fouled out. DeSouza and Sweeney completed the Everett scoring with two points apiece.
"That was a big win for us, especially because we shook off our slow start," said Turner. "It was good to see us overcome that sort of adversity and just play our game, one possession at a time."
The Lady Crimson Tide played well against a strong Somerville team for a while on Friday, but the Lady Highlanders pulled away for an eventual 64-44 triumph. The teams battled to a 13-13 tie after the first period, but an 8-0 Somerville run to start the second frame gave the Lady Highlanders a lead that Everett proved unable to overcome.
Cyrus led the Lady Crimson Tide with 11 points. Aylward was next on the scoring chart with nine, followed by DeSouza with seven, Sweeney with five, Stella Riccioli and Madkour with four apiece, Fenelon with three, and Pierce with one.
With a 4-3 mark at the one third point of the season, Turner said she is pleased with her team’s progress thus far. "The girls are working hard and improving," she said. "Two of our losses could have gone either way, and hopefully the next time we meet those teams we’ll have learned from our mistakes."
The Lady Crimson Tide were set to travel to Saugus on Monday on the holiday and to host Whittier Tech yesterday (Tuesday). They will play at Medford Friday and at Cambridge next Tuesday.