Deerfield suffered a tough loss to Taft’s JV squad on Wednesday afternoon. Though the Big Green had moments of greatness, difficulty executing on offense, making defensive adjustments, and pure bad luck at the basket (only 20 points came of 56 shots) resulted in a three-point deficit at the end of regulation time.
Whitney Vogt ’20 won the tip as usual. Fellow starters Molly Fischer ’20, Vera Menafee ’20, and Jada Howard ’19 took the ball to the top of Taft’s key, ran their plays, and took a series of shots. Unfortunately, these all failed to fall, setting the tone for many of the team’s shots throughout the remainder of the game. Through remaining calm and collected, and Fischer’s ferocious rebounding, the starting five still managed to get a basket thanks to a typically deadly shot from Jane Mallach ’20. Refreshing the starters, Hanna Deringer ’20, Nicole Da Costa ’19, and seniors Lindsay Cureton and Rachel Shuman all demonstrated good hustle and attempted to put Deerfield on the scoreboard. Menafee and Cureton managed to get a few baskets, but Taft got lucky with some elbow shots and adjusted smartly to Deerfield’s offensive plays to hold the team to 8-12 at the half. As the 16-minute buzzer rang out, the JV girls saw the game slipping away before their very eyes.
But in fact, the game was not yet over yet! Thanks to a rousing halftime discussion led by the team’s senior leaders, and words of encouragement from Coaches Thomas and Kelly, Deerfield rallied tremendously at the beginning of the second half. The girls worked as hard as they possibly could, running an extremely tiring yet effective press defense. Mallach and Menafee worked together to bring Deerfield back within firing range and then tie up the game. Fischer’s defensive play was particularly aggressive as well. Buckets from Cureton and Samara Cummings ’20, assisted by Liz Tarasi ’19, helped to keep the game tight. Though Taft continued to find and capitalize upon opportunities to score, baskets from Fischer and Deringer meant that Deerfield was only one point behind with four minutes to play. Unfortunately, the team grew flustered and took outside shots rather than executing plays, and were unable to get the W.
As the first of a series of more competitive games Deerfield will play this winter, the matchup was not at all a bad beginning to the season! The Big Green look to work out kinks in practice for the remainder of the week and make the trip to Exeter worth it on Saturday.
Reporting contributed by Molly Persons ’17, manager