by Steev Riccardo
WEBSTER – The Bartlett Indians fell to the Millbury Woolies 53-14 last Thursday, Jan. 4, in girls SWCL action.
Junior Kayla Podell played a solid defensive game, blocking eight shots to go along with four points for the Indians, who stayed close to the Woolies early, trailing only 7-4 after one quarter.
Freshman Katie Kobel scored four points, while freshman Natalie Terranova, playing in her second varsity game, scored her first points in a varsity uniform for the Indians.
“We came out with high intensity and were able to pretty much execute our defensive game plan through three quarters, which is something we can build on,” said Indians coach Chris Delvecchio. “Obviously we need to find a way to score more points, and cut down on turnovers. A lack of confidence with the basketball continues to hurt us in games. We are focusing on those areas during practice and we are making progress, but Millbury deserves a lot of credit for having an answer for every in-game adjustment we tried to implement tonight."
Delvecchio also praised the play of Podell, who has been playing consistently well all season. "Podell really stepped up for us again tonight, especially defensively. She's asserting herself as a defensive force, and did an admirable job tonight against (Payton) Bruegger, one of the best post players in our league."
Sports intern and Bartlett student Jacob Murphy interviewed Millbury coach Steve Reno following the game. Here is the Q&A:
JM: Started a little low slow in the first quarter. You had a little 5-0 run towards the end. What did you tell your girls going into the second quarter that kept that run going?
Steve Reno: We didn't make a lot of shots in the first half, but I thought we played very good defense. It was one of those things that I couldn't pause them because they were working hard. Shots weren't going in. In the second half, we made a lot more shots, which is always nice, but I was happy with our defense. I thought Bartlett did a nice job taking 42 there out of the game. They did a nice job collapsing on her in the first half. That kind of threw us off for a little bit, but I thought that the second half we made a few outside shots and forced them to come out a little more.
JM: All right, you had some good ball movement through the game and a lot of forced turnovers-
Steve Reno: Yeah, our defense was good. We hadn't played in two weeks, so they had a little more extra energy tonight. Yeah, and I thought we did a nice job on defense. We were all over the place.
JM: So what part of your game do you think is more important to repeating a performance like tonight’s?
Steve Reno: Anytime you play good defense, you know you always have a good chance. I am most happy about that and hope we can keep that going.