PEABODY — At this point of the season, Peabody girls basketball coach Jane Heil isn’t so concerned about the amount of wins her team can produce down the final stretch. She’s more focused with her team improving each night out.
Last night was one of those games the Tanners were able to do both. After shutting out Lynn Classical in the first quarter, Peabody held the advantage the rest of the way to secure a 62-29 victory.
“We need this one,” said Heil. “We’re at a point in the season where we need to execute better. Throwing the ball long and out of bounds is not the type of execution we’re looking for. I want the girls to keep it simple — shorter passes, settle down more and not allow as many turnovers.”
The Tanners (11-4) are one of three teams left in the Northeastern Conference that haven’t suffered back-to-back losses and that’s a credit to their ability to respond after a loss. It was also the first game of the season that they’ve scored more than 60 points.
“Coming off the loss to Lynn English we needed to regroup, so this was a big win,” said senior tri-captain Alex Lomasney. “We had a really good practice this week. We worked a lot on our press breaks and refocusing on our fundamentals to get things right.”
Peabody’s defense was unbeatable in the first quarter and didn’t allow Lynn Classical to get a single shot off in the paint. The Tanners took a commanding 19-0 lead after the first.
Classical (9-9) scored its first basket a minute into the second quarter and as able to establish some scoring rhythm. Despite being outscored 16-13, it was the most points the Rams put up in a quarter, with their leading scorer Kristin Lauria out of the lineup due to injury. Peabody upheld its 20-plus point lead at the break (35-13), while Olivia Summit and Carolyn Scacchi led all scorers with 10 points in the first half.
“We take a lot of pride in our defense,” noted Lomasney. “It was very important to us that we weren’t going to give up just because we were ahead. We’re looking to give 100 percent the entire game.”
Unfortunately for the Rams, they had no answer for Peabody’s dominance on the glass. Scacchi owned the boards with 12 rebounds, while Summit (nine rebounds) and Amanda Matthews (seven rebounds) contributed to second chance scoring opportunities for the Tanners.
Chenysse Hill scored a team-high 10 points for the Rams. Jaida Santos finished with eight and Francesca Galeazzi added six for the visitors.
Scacchi, who added three assists and two blocks, scored a team-high 16 points. Summit looked poised with 15 points, while junior Courtney Bua dropped in nine points. Freshman guard Melissa Gray finished with two-three’s, good for six points along with three assists.
“It’s about playing your best and getting it right,” added Heil. “We’re 15 games in and we should be getting it right. We shouldn’t be winning because of other teams mistakes. We should be winning because we’re playing good basketball.
“We did a lot of things right tonight. I was very pleased with the ball movement and finding the opening player. Our defense has been stepping up a lot, going from good to better. It’s the type of basketball you want to be playing heading into the tournament and that starts with a little more effort at practice.”