The squad slapped together a win against Cushing Academy on Wednesday afternoon. After a 10-minute warmup in Cushing’s beautiful brand-new gym, the team had no choice but to play and attempt to control the pace of the game until they were truly ready. Whitney Vogt ’20 maintained her height advantage and won the tip, and Molly Fisher ’20 opened the scoring with a Fisher classic baseline jumper. Jane Mallach ’20 faked out a defender to hit a nice elbow shot, but Cushing answered immediately with a layup and a crispy jumper to even the score. Tarah Almonacy ’17 executed at the free-throw line to give Deerfield another point, and then grabbed her own rebound and put away a layup. Nicole DaCosta ’19 cut hard and put the ball away and, a few plays later, Fisher got the ball from Da Costa, took it to her favorite spot down low, and swished her usual baseline shot. However, Deerfield’s shooting, passing, ball handling, and decision to begin offense far from the top of the key were a mess throughout the first half, and Cushing took advantage of these weaknesses to score layups and a 3-pointer on an unprotected basket, making the score an even 11-11 at the half.
Thankfully, Deerfield made the choice to bring the energy up and power through. Both Fisher and Vera Menafee ’20 played hard, stealing and driving to the basket. Menafee contributed three points from the free throw line and Fisher hit yet another jumper. Rachel Shuman ’17 chipped in a nice outside shot and Almonacy hit a great layup, and Deerfield’s lead was suddenly 20-13! Shuman’s shooting was flawless as she nailed another shot from just inside the three-point line. Despite some truly incredible boxing out from the Penguins (matched only perhaps by Almonacy’s moves under the basket), Deerfield stepped it up on both defense and offense to hold Cushing to just 4 points through the half. Samara Cummings ’20 somehow dug out a lovely layup, Fisher swung a stolen ball to Menafee for another finish at the basket, Jada Howard ’19 swished it from the outside and somehow set a sweet block on an attempted Cushing shot, and then held the ball for a few moments to wind out the clock. Though it was an ugly win, Deerfield ended victorious, 28-15.
The team will rest and recharge over Long Winter Weekend feeling good about a 6-2 record as they look towards their goals for the rest of the season. With 6 remaining games, including a grudge match against Loomis, the usual bloodbath with Choate, and a challenge from perennial basketball powerhouse NMH, the squad will need to buckle down and give it their all!
Reporting contributed by manager Molly Persons ’19