HAMILTON — The Hamilton-Wenham girls basketball team is known to wear its opponents down in the fourth quarter.
The Generals’ relentless pressure on the ball and tight man-to-man coverage got the better of visiting Ipswich last night, as they topped the Tigers 44-28.
Despite a second half push by Ipswich (4-6), Hamilton-Wenham’s smothering defense forced 35 turnovers and put an end to the run down the stretch.
“A big thing for us is to try and maximize on those turnovers,” said Hamilton-Wenham head coach Jon DeMarco, who’s team won its fourth straight contest to improve to 8-3 on the season.
“We got some steals early on, but then we turned the ball back over and didn’t finish. I thought we did a much better job later in the game settling down on offense.”
The Generals jumped out to 17-6 lead in the first quarter and even maintained a nine-point lead (23-14) by the half.
Despite being down by double figures to start the fourth quarter, Ipswich fought back to within eight.
“It was never enough, we made too many mistakes,” said Ipswich coach Doug Woodworth. “They’re a good defensive team. It wasn’t anything we weren’t ready for, I think we just panicked in the beginning of the game. It was a game we wanted to win and the girls came out a little anxious and nervous.
“Hamilton-Wenham shot very well. Defensively, we were trying to clog the lane a bit, but they made the three’s and I give them credit.”
Senior captain Sam Charette hit layup with under four to play to push H-W’s lead back up to 10. On the next possession, the Generals got a steal and Charette took it to the basket for a three-point play to make it 40-27.