“It tells me a lot about the girls. That for thirty two minutes, even in a game like that, they worked so hard and never gave up. And that’s a very difficult thing to do,” said Nicole Casimiro, the coach of the Oyster River Girls Varsity Basketball team on their Friday (1/11) loss.
From the start of the game to the final buzzer, the Oyster River Bobcats (5-3) fought hard against the Hanover Marauders (8-1). Despite the 17-78 loss on Friday, January 11th in Durham, the Bobcats are hoping to use their game against the Marauders to highlight what they need to improve and make them a better team. The Bobcats finished 0-18 last season, and have already made great strides to put them at five wins and three losses this year. The Marauders highlighted many elements the Bobcats need to work on, such as transitions, but also gave the Bobcats a confidence boost that other elements, such as their defense, were very strong and would be assets in the coming games.
Off the opening tip off, the Bobcats worked quickly and scored an early basket just seconds into the game, but quickly fell behind the Marauders due to many defensive stops and quick transitions. Much of the Marauders’ lead can be attributed to their transitions, with many of their points coming off fast breaks.
Despite having a tough battle ahead of them going into the third, the Bobcats managed to regroup and came out firing, putting up nine points in the first five minutes of the third quarter.
Casimiro credited part of the Bobcat’s effort to Maddy Alphonse (‘19), the team’s captain. She explained that, “the leadership we see from Maddy Alphonse is one of the things that’s huge. She goes out there and is going to give her 100%. Based on what she’s saying to the [team], and just her role modeling, that’s a big push for the younger girls.”
With Alphonse’s motivation, the Bobcats continued to fight the whole game, ending the third quarter 17-66. The fourth quarter ended scoreless for the Bobcats, with the Marauders tallying 12 points, for the final score of 17-78.
Cam Schiavo (‘19), a fan of the team who attends nearly all of the Bobcat’s games, has been watching them battle all season long. Schiavo explained that, “they’ve been looking really good. Against teams that I’ve heard some of them say, ‘we’re gonna get killed,’ they go and end up beating … They’ve played three seasons without many wins and it’s finally coming back and it seems like they’re using that to fuel their season and get wins.”
Emily Brisson (‘20) explained that playing tough teams can provide insight into what the Bobcats need to improve on, saying, “we wanted to go out into this game with high intensity and wanted to fluster them with our defense. Even though they are a tough team, playing teams as good as Hanover better us for the next game, and highlight the things we need to work on.”
Casimiro agreed with Brisson and felt that the Bobcats had many strong areas, saying, “we went out and we did what we wanted to do. We frustrated them a little bit to get turnovers … In our 2-3 zone, we gave them a lot of trouble, at least more so than a lot of other teams have, so I’m going to take that as a win.”
After the loss, Schiavo wasn’t discouraged and knows that the game is just a bump in the road and their season is far from over, explaining that, “they’ve got some real good competition coming up next.”
The Bobcats hope to continue playing hard and use what they learned against the Marauders to win their next few games. In their next three games, the Bobcats will play Kennet (7-0), Manchester West (0-8), and Bishop Brady (5-2). Additionally, the Bobcats are looking forward to games against Coe-Brown Northwood (3-3) and Sanborn (4-4) who they have already defeated. Casimiro explained that, “this is good because if we play defense like that against some of the teams that we have coming up … we’re going to be way stronger than we were the first time we saw them.”
The Bobcats are on the road for their next two games but will return home on January 25th at 6:30 pm to play Bishop Brady (5-2).
All Photos by Lucas Hamilton