Updated Tuesday, Jan. 31 3:00 pm
The smooth and skillful Lady Warriors of Coyle and Cassidy used a pressure defense and balanced offense to topple the Vineyard girls, 61-39, on Friday in an Eastern Athletic Conference (EAC) matchup at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS).
With the win, Coyle improved to 10-1 overall and 4-1 in the EAC. The Vineyarders fell to 6-6 overall and 2-3 in league play.
Vineyard junior Molly DeBettencourt led all scorers with 26 points, but the hosts had no answer for Coyle’s relentless attack and overall team play.
From the opening tap, the Lady Warriors applied pressure at both ends of the court. Playing a tight, full-court man-to-man defense, Coyle made the Vineyarders work for good shots while also forcing turnovers, many leading to fast-break baskets. Offensively, the Lady Warriors utilized a patient ball-movement attack featuring screens and quick cuts to the basket. The Vineyarders employed a tenacious zone defense, but Coyle’s fluid movement often resulted in a layup or uncontested outside shot.
Molly DeBettencourt kept the hosts close in the second quarter by sinking three consecutive three-pointers as the Vineyarders rallied late in the first half to trail by 10 points at the break. The 10-point spread was as close as the host team would get.
In the fourth period, the Lady Warriors pulled away. Their tenacious style of play, combined with a height advantage underneath, gave them the edge and a well-deserved win.
Coyle and Cassidy Coach Michael O’Brien praised his hustling squad after the game and looked to the future. “We played well as a team. That’s our style,” he said. “We’re a young team with no seniors, but we’re experienced.”
Guard Rachel Johnson, one of three starting sophomores, led the Lady Warriors with 20 points.
Vineyard Coach Sterling Bishop thought that his team felt the pressure of facing the formidable Lady Warriors. “We gave a great effort,” he said,” but I think there were some nerves. We played a bit frantic, and made some hasty decisions.”