PEABODY — A strategic move by Peabody coach Jane Heil at halftime paid dividends. Heil decided to change defenses from man-to-man to a zone with a slight difference. She knew they would have to find a way to pay close attention to Danvers sharp shooter Kasey Sherry, who had 11 points in the first half.
The result was a satisfying 56-34 victory for the hosts.
At the half Peabody clung to a one point lead, but came out on fire to start the third quarter. They outscored the Falcons, 15-2 in that eight minute period, putting in 15 unanswered points before Hannah Llewellyn made two free throws for the only points her team could muster.
The Tanners outscored Danvers 32-11 in the last two quarters. Sophomore forward Courtney Bua led all scorers with 16 points, and freshman point guard Sara Hosman added 11. Peabody had eight different girls figure in the scoring.
“The difference in this game was all about getting out of our man to man and switching to a zone defense,” said Heil after her team improved to 8-2 overall and 7-2 in the conference. “We didn’t want Kasey Sherry to go crazy so we had to get on her when she had the ball. It’s funny because you are better off playing man to man against some teams, and zone against others.”
Sherry hit two of her three treys in the first quarter, and Llewellyn hit one to give Danvers a 16-10 lead at the end of one. But the Tanners fought back to pull ahead, 24-23 at the half led by Bua, who had seven points in that quarter.
Carolyn Scacchi, who had a strong all around game with 7 points, 3 assists, and 11 big rebounds, stole the ball and fed Hosman to knot it up at 21-21. Alex Lomasney (8 points) drove to the basket to give Peabody its first lead with just over a minute remaining in the half.