Wahconah girls basketball spreads the love in home win over Lee
DALTON — With the clock winding down at the end of the third quarter, Wahconah's Morgan Marauszwski found a cutting Maria Gamberoni under the basket for two points as time expired.
The Warriors finished with 14 assists on 19 made baskets in a 49-29 win over the Lee Wildcats on Monday night.
Gamberoni entered action as Berkshire County's second-highest scorer at 14.7 points per game, and her running mate, Noelle Furlong, the sixth scorer at 13.3, but Monday's success stemmed from their ability to pass the rock.
The duo combined for for 12 assists as the Warriors (6-1) locked up their sixth-straight game after dropping the season opener against Pittsfield.
"I think Noelle and I are looking to drive a lot and kick out to our shooters like Morgan [Marauszwski] and Becca [Morris]," Gamberoni said. "We try to take control in the paint and kick it out. Morgan especially was on tonight."
Marauszwski was Wahconah's leading scorer with 12 points on four-made buckets from beyond the 3-point line and Morris tied her season-high with 11 points.
Wahconah's success starts on the defensive end with a full-court press defense. In fact, the Warrior defense has now held opponents to 30 points or less in six-straight games.
"Wahconah is quick, long and good at what they do," Lee coach Rick Puleri said. "They're a tough team,especially defensively and in the first half we were too passive [against the press]."
Lee (5-3) had a 5-2 lead, but the Wahconah defense ignited a 9-0 run to end the first quarter and a 21-0 scoring run that lasted deep into the second quarter.
"We feed off our defense and I thought we played tremendously on that end of the court," Wahconah coach Liz Kay said. "I saw our role players stepping up [during the run]. Some of our kids didn't have the greatest shooting nights and they really stepped up just running the floor, finding open players and enabling them."
Everybody ate for the Warriors, as Morris, Gamberoni, Jilly Cote and Marauszwski each entered halftime with at least six points.
"When we can push, we can get open looks at the 3-point line and then get down low to get the rebounds," Gamberoni added. "I think that really helps keep the energy up."
The Wildcats went into the break trailing 29-12, but some halftime adjustments paid dividends for Lee.
"We were much more aggressive attacking the traps with the dribble," Puleri said of the adjustments. "We were much better with slides and were active [defensively] against a really good team."
Lee doubled its score in the third quarter behind a seven-point frame from Caroline Maloney. The sophomore finished with a game-high 14 points and three boards. Lydia Simone finished with two points and eight rebounds, Lena Simone added two points and seven rebounds and Brianna Kelly brought down six boards off the bench.
"We executed our game plan well and Lee made some adjustments in the second half," Kay said. "We found other ways to get tips and steals, which was a big key to getting other kids going as well."
The Wahconah defense buckled down in the fourth, allowing just five points.
Gamberoni finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Furlong was held to just two points on the night, but gave teammates open looks on seven assists and brought down eight boards. Cote finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
The Warriors are off until Friday when they travel to Springfield College to participate in the HoopHall Classic against Longmeadow. The Lee girls are off Tuesday and travel to Pittsfield on Wednesday night to face the Generals.
Bartini 0-0-0, B. Kelly 0-0-0, Lyd. Simone 0-2-2, K. Kelly 1-0-3, Maloney 6-0-14, Len. Simone 1-0-2, Simmons 1-0-2, Brown 0-2-2, Puleri 2-0-4, Clark 0-0-0. Totals 11-4-29.
Morris 3-1-7, Furlong 1-0-2, Gagliardi 2-0-4, Belcher 1-0-2, Gamberoni 4-2-11, Cote 4-3-11, Drury 0-0-0, Marauszwski 4-0-12, Quinto 0-0-0. Totals 19-6-49.
Lee 5 7 12 5 — 29
Wahconah 11 18 10 10 — 49
3-point goals — L 3 (Maloney 2, Kelly 1); W 5 (Marauszski 4, Gamberoni 1).
Jake Mendel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.
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