DANVERS — The host Falcons picked up their first win of the young season, 47-26 over Swampscott led by sophomore guard Hannah Llewellyn, who had a game high 15 points including three treys.
“I know it’s strange to say so early in the year, but this was a must win for our girls,” said Danvers coach Pat Veilleux (1-1). “Swampscott is very young, and they will be a better team the second time we face them.
“On the other hand we’re a senior laden group, and we came to play tonight. The thing that pleases me the most is that we put together a solid four quarters, and our defense was very good. We controlled the tempo of the game and cut down on turnovers.”
Danvers had 26 turnovers in the opening game loss to Winthrop, and had 20 against the Big Blue, but many came with the starters sitting on the bench in the late going.The game was close early until the Falcons went on an 11-0 run at the end of the first quarter to take a 17-7 lead. Hannah Llewellyn made a layup after a steal by Nicole White, and then hit a three-point shot in the final seconds.
They kept it going in the second quarter, quickly stretching the lead to a dozen and had a 15 point advantage at the half.
“We’re a young team, and right now we’re a work in progress,” said Big Blue coach Abrom Roberts (1-2). “I thought we played with more effort in the second half, and that’s something we need to do for four quarters. It’s going to take time to get the pieces to fit together, but we will keep getting better as the season goes on.”
Guard Jackie Walsh is the lone senior on the Swampscott squad, and she did a nice job defensively. Samantha Rizzo (six points) hit a baseline shot to open the second half. Freshman forward Hannah Leahy led the Big Blue with eight points and freshman guard Jaymie Caponigro played well, but the visitors struggled with the tough Danvers defense.
Tina Gigli had nine points and nine rebounds for the Falcons. The freshman was a factor off the bench, driving to the hoop for layups and pounding the boards. Emily McNulty, who was in double figures with 11 points, also came up big on the glass along with Ashley Arnoldy.
The Falcons used their speed to create turnovers and point guard Delaney Zecha had a game high six steals and six points. Llewellyn, McNulty, and White all had three steals apiece.
Danvers will be without sophomore Devan Walsh all season after she suffered a torn ACL during soccer season. Junior Kara Connors turned her ankle in the Winthrop game and was in a boot, but the Falcons are glad to have senior forward Allie Walsh back after she was out with a torn ACL last season.
“Devan really made this team gel, and we’re going to miss her,” said Veilleux. “Connors was playing very well against Winthrop; we’ll have to wait to see how long she’ll be out. Injuries are tough, but it gives other people the opportunity to step up.”