Manchester girl's basketball team fouls up

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Fri., Mar. 11, 2011
Ashley Perez shows her intensity as the pressure increases in the game against Glastonbury. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Ashley Perez shows her intensity as the pressure increases in the game against Glastonbury. Photos by Martha Marteney.

The Manchester High School girl’s basketball team took on Glastonbury High School in the quarterfinals of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division I conference on March 10 at MHS. Manchester had a bye for the first round, and beat St. Joseph on March 4, 65-29.

Manchester finished the regular season with a record of 19-1. That one loss was against Glastonbury on January 31, with a final score of 43-47. Manchester won the first pairing against Glastonbury on January 14, 58-51. Before the game, Manchester coach Jon Reiser said, “Glastonbury might be the most complete team we have to face.”

The quarterfinal game was the third match-up of third-ranked Manchester and sixth-ranked Glastonbury. “Our advantage is our aggressiveness and our quickness,” said Reiser. He went on to say that the main difference between the teams is Glastonbury’s size. Both teams like to play aggressively and push the ball. Reiser said the teams are not similar defensively, where Glastonbury likes to take the middle away and use their size. “We like to play fast and create tempo,” noted Reiser. “That’s our style.”

The March 10 game certainly started with Manchester spotlighting its aggressive speed. In the first quarter, junior Ashley Perez was on fire with line drives to the basket, and beating out the taller Glastonbury players for rebounds. It was evident why she tops the division in scoring and is ranked fourth for steals. The first quarter ended with Manchester in the lead 17-9.

By contrast, junior Miofania Garcia did not start moving until the second quarter. “I’ve been off,” said Garcia. “As a team we started off good. We definitely have to push the ball.”

Shortly into the second quarter, Manchester’s troubles began. Manchester’s players started committing fouls, allowing Glastonbury to close the gap. By the end of the second quarter, Manchester was just barely ahead at 25-24.

The rest of the game was Glastonbury’s. On defensive, Glastonbury closed the gaps through which Manchester would usually penetrate. Offensively, Glastonbury pulled Manchester away from the key, encouraged Manchester to double team the ball handler, then passed to their player waiting under the net. And with each of Glastonbury’s attempt to score, Manchester fouled. By the end of the third quarter, Glastonbury had pulled nine points ahead.

Trecine Breedlove made some critical scores in the fourth period, but it was not enough for Manchester to bridge the gap. By the end of the game, Zanaija Gibson, Perez and Garcia were all benched due to personal fouls, with Arianna Rivera and Megan Cardarelli with four fouls. Manchester’s season ended with the loss to Glastonbury, 52-68.

Glastonbury coach Brian Flemming said, “I told the girls to gap the lead and run with it. We played a zone to mix things up.” He acknowledged that the fouls played a huge factor in his team’s win.

“We fouled and gave them easy points with the clock not even running,” said Perez, “and they moved ahead.” Throughout the game, Perez talked with her teammates to try to keep their focus and intensity up. “It was a great season. We had our ups and downs, and we can definitely improve.”

There are no seniors on Manchester’s rooster, so look for more up-tempo games next year.

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