MHS girls prove to be too tough for SWHS

By Martha Marteney, Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Feb. 4, 2011
Manchester’s Caitlyn Mockler (#25) tries for a 3-point shot. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Manchester’s Caitlyn Mockler (#25) tries for a 3-point shot. Photos by Martha Marteney.

SOUTH WINDSOR/MANCHESTER - The South Windsor High School girls’ basketball team was decisively defeated by Manchester High School in a home game on Feb. 3. At their first meeting on Jan. 10, MHS beat SWHS 76 to 41.
At the Feb. 3 game, MHS was missing its power forward, junior Miofania Garcia, due to a sprained ankle. Coach John Reiser hoped Garcia would be playing in games the following week. “We’ve got to do what we can with contributions from everyone tonight,” said Reiser.
“We’re hoping to catch them without one of their big guns tonight,” commented SWHS coach Don Leclerc.
MHS lost its first game of the season to Glastonbury High School on Jan. 31, with a final score of 43 to 47. Until that loss, MHS was ranked second in the state. Going into the game against SWHS, MHS was ranked fourth in the LL Division.
Both coaches noted that the weather-related school closings have been a factor in consistency for their teams.
The game started with a quick pace, multiple turn-arounds, and both teams playing physically. SWHS got the tip, yet MHS made it to the basket first. Ashley Perez, of MHS, made the first shot of the evening, adding to her more than 1,000 career points. Savanna Gray quickly got the SWHS team on the score board.
In under 4 minutes, the score jumped up to SWHS 2 – MHS 11, and a time-out was called. Gray came back with another basket, but Meghan Cardarelli kept hitting hard with the 3-pointers for Manchester. MHS picked up another basket from Trecine Breedlove, plus foul shots by Talia Gabriel. The first quarter ended with a score of SWHS 4 – MHS 18.
MHS continued with strong pressure in the beginning of the second quarter, with scores by Cardarelli and Arianna Rivera. A series of foul shots kept the score creeping upwards.
Maxine Offiaeli of SWHS maintained a strong presence under the baskets, taking down multiple rebounds and adding to her team’s score. The second quarter ended with a score of SWHS 13 – MHS 38.
After half-time, MHS pulled out a series of quick baskets, before SWHS even made it to the net. South Windsor’s Gray finally got one in for her team.  MHS maintained pressure, stealing the ball and heading to the basket. Under the net, MHS either scored or was fouled, and added up the points.
Prior to this game, MHS was ranked third in the division for team scoring and steals, and both Perez and Cardarelli ranked high on individual scoring.  Perez was the leading scorer in the game against SWHS, with lay-ups coming as easily as her 3-pointers.  The third quarter ended with a score of SWHS 23 – MHS 60.
SWHS kept hustling for the rebounds and driving to the basket, but they could not break Manchester’s lead. In the final 2 minutes of the game, there was an exchange of fouls, with only South Windsor’s Marissa Silverman managing the pressure to gain a point for her team. The quick turn-overs continued until the final seconds. The final score was SWHS 37 – MHS 64.
“They’re number 2 in the state for a reason,” said SWHS coach Don Leclerc. “You can’t make mistakes with a top-level team.”

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