Deerfield opened strong and fast across the valley at Williston on a snowy Wednesday afternoon last week. Running hot on shooting and fueled by a victory over Exeter last Saturday, the Big Green were confident and collected as they cruised to a 37-29 victory, holding at least a 10-point lead over Williston for the majority of the game.
The onslaught was immediate. Whitney Vogt ’20 won the tip as usual (perhaps no JV girls’ basketball players in New England share her 6-foot-1 frame). Starting point guard Jada Howard ’19 grabbed the ball and put it away immediately. Vera Menafee ’20, who would lead the day in points (10) and rebounds (5), contributed a typically icy layup. Thanks to heavy pressure from Howard on defense, Molly Fisher ’20 had the opportunity to score, of which she took full advantage. Rachel Shuman ’17 and Nicole Da Costa ’19 emerged onto the court along with Tarah Almonacy ’17, Annie Clark ’17, and Hanna Deringer ’20, and quickly frustrated Williston’s offensive attempts. Posts Almonacy and Clark played smart down low and took advantage of Deerfield’s time at the free-throw line. Deringer executed on a fast break for an easy layup, Almonacy rebounded the ball from a missed shot by refresher Samara Cummings ’20 and put it away, Menafee crushed another couple of layups, and then Deringer and Mallach scored another four points together to bring Deerfield to a 19-9 lead at the half.
Despite some difficulty containing the dribble-drive and following man principles on defense, which led to Williston ultimately collecting 29 points, Deerfield’s hot shooting secured the W in the second half. Deringer was ferocious on defense, stealing the ball and forcing turnovers left and right, and Vogt threw down a serious block on a Williston shot. Clark rebounded an unlucky shot by Shuman, Howard and Fisher contributed several baskets apiece, Menafee continued to score off of fast breaks and tenacious rebounds, and Da Costa and Cummings both added buckets to the final score.
The Big Green felt great after the win and were happy to head back to Deerfield with a victory in hand, and prepared to buckle down over the next couple of days in preparation for what is sure to be a battle with Andover on Saturday.
Reporting contributed by manager Molly Persons ’19