SWAMSPCOTT — Back-to-back wins to start the season might not seem like a big feat, but for a team that carries four freshmen on its roster, Marblehead will gladly string the pair of victories together.
The Magicians’ offense has played like it had something to prove over the past two games, nearly doubling up on their opponents on both occasions. Last night Marblehead handed Swampscott a 40-21 loss with its stingy defense and its hurry-up offense.
“The season started very fast for us, we had a game last Thursday,” said Marblehead coach Wayne Hanscom. “The girls are having a good time with it. They’re playing with energy and intensity, but it’s still early. We have a lot of work to do.
“We have a lot girls on this team that can score. We’re looking to run and whoever is open can shoot the ball.”
Marblehead’s junior point guard handled the ball with precision, setting up seniors Emily Freedland and Sara Snadecki, and freshman Lindsay Walker in the first quarter.
Freedland, who led the team in scoring a year ago, scored eight of her 15 points in the opening half as the Magicians took a 23-11 into halftime.
“We were able to get some easy steals, which led to some buckets for us,” added Hanscom. “If our defense can continuously improve, it’s going to lead us to scoring some points, because that’s what we’re all about here.”
The Magicians held Swampscott to a single point in the third quarter, where it went on an 8-1 run to push the lead to 19 to start the final quarter.
“We’re a young team,” said Big Blue head coach Abrom Roberts. “This is a whole new thing for me. I went from having a veteran team last year to carrying four freshman on the varsity, who all made contributions.”
Being young is a common theme throughout the Northeastern Conference Small this season, with the exception of Winthrop. Swampscott and Marblehead each have four freshmen who will put in major minutes for their respective clubs.
The Big Blue were aggressive going to the basket, but some forced turnovers and missed shots doomed them in the second half.
“Defensively, we need to get better and protect the basketball,” noted Roberts. “We’re still a work in progress. The way that we start the season is not the way I expect us to end the season. The younger players will get better as the season goes on, but right now we’re in a transition period.”
Swampscott’s best scoring quarter was the fourth, putting in nine points as a team, three of which came at the free-throw line. Sophomore Meghan Hartmann, who came off the bench, made the most of her minutes— contributing with steals, assists and rebounds to go along with her two points.
Along with Freedland’s game-high 15 points, Bongiorno dropped in nine points, while Walker added six for Marblehead, which is back at it tomorrow night against Everett. Walker, who was the only freshman to start for the Magicians, was active on the boards and fought for the extra baskets under the glass.
Swampscott freshman Jaymie Caponigro score four. Sophomore Olivia Cook and junior Anya Peterson each had three as eight different players factored into the scoring for the Big Blue.