Deerfield suffered a tough loss to Hotchkiss after a long bus ride on Saturday. Despite greater athleticism and basketball skill on the side of the Big Green, Hotchkiss were able to generate offensive momentum, outsmart Deerfield’s defense, and bring more energy to the game to secure a win, 33-28.
Though Whitney Vogt ’20 won the tip as usual, Hotchkiss scored the first basket. The Big Green technically dominated the first half: Vera Menafee ’20 collected a layup and Jada Howard ’20 stole the ball and drove into the basket, Menafee rebounded her own ball three times and finally got it in, Molly Fisher ’20 hit a typical outside jumper and an incredible layup, Jane Mallach ’20 nailed a baseline jumper, Menafee scored yet another layup, Annie Roberts ’17 went up strong to finish at the basket, and Samara Cummings ’20 chipped in a swisher as well. Menafee and Fisher both rebounded with serious power throughout the half, Fisher did a great job seeing the floor, and Vogt picked off several nice interceptions. Yet Hotchkiss managed to stir up some trouble, exploiting holes in Deerfield’s defense to float in easy layups and baseline jumpers as well as free shots from the paint. Still, it was 19-12 to Deerfield at the half.
The second half belonged to Hotchkiss, as Deerfield could not find the energy or tenacity to hold onto their lead. Howard scored a layup to open the scoring in the second half, but Hotchkiss answered with six points in a row as Deerfield failed to box out and allowed far too many offensive rebounds. Hannah Deringer ’20 crushed a “money” elbow shot, but Hotchkiss responded with a beautiful jumper to tighten the game. Nicole Da Costa ’19 contributed a point from the free throw line, and Brett Hale ’18 managed to box out and grab a few nice rebounds. But with 5 minutes left, Hotchkiss scored twice in a row to bring the score to an even 24-24, and momentum shifted to the Bearcats’ side. Deerfield allowed another basket, and though Deringer played her heart out to steal the ball and even the score with 2 minutes left, Hotchkiss exploited a broken-down Deerfield defense to put away an easy layup and hit four free-throw shots in a row which even Deringer’s final three-pointer could not redeem. In sum, Deerfield’s hold on the game slipped from a 7-point lead to a 5-point loss. The long trip home after a loss did not feel great, and the team will gather their resolve and focus in practice to ensure they are ready for a Wednesday afternoon, pre-Long-Winter-Weekend away game at Cushing.
Reporting contributed by manager Molly Persons ’19