By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
In a game that was close for a couple minutes in the second and third quarters, but somehow never a blowout nor particularly close, the Dover-Sherborn girls’ basketball team was too big, too fast and too good for the Dedham Marauders on Friday night. In a game in which they never trailed, the Raiders would ultimately prevail with a twelve-point win, 46-34.
The game began with both teams trading three pointers, with Dover-Sherborn’s coming from Hana Skeary, who was also very pesky at the top of their zone. But an offensive rebound from Kate Mastrobuono, which led to her being fouled on the put-back was more indicative of how the game would go. After Megan Hanlon banked a jumpshot in from the dead center of the key, Erica Hills hit both her free throws after getting fouled, and Dedham needed a timeout, down 16-5. A corner three from the Marauders cut the lead to 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, highlights from early on included Mastrobuono's block and a beautiful pass from Skeary that wrapped around an interior defender to an open teammate. But Dedham deserves credit for fighting back to make it a game, despite not having the talent to compete on an individual player by player basis. At the half, the Raiders were only up 25-22.
At this point, Dedham’s strengths and weaknesses had become clear. Their biggest problem was that they couldn’t rebound. It was very rare for one of their forwards to cleanly catch a defensive rebound; instead, they were usually trying to tip the ball to a teammate rather than come down strongly with it. Dover-Sherborn, particularly Mastrobuono, really made the boards a nightmare for Dedham. The other issue was that while Dover-Sherborn had all sorts of scorers, Dedham was really a one-person team, being led by Avery O’Connor. When her shots weren't falling late in the game, the Marauders didn't seem to have anyone else to turn to.
The third quarter won’t be appearing on either team’s highlight reel. Dover-Sherborn's players couldn’t find an offensive rhythm and were consistently scrambling to find a good shot at the end of the shot clock. The game stagnated at 27-22 until an Erica Hills three finally broke through with a little under four minutes left. Mastrobuono found Erica Hills in the deep post for two, before a missed three from Skeary ended the third quarter with the score 33-24.
The most exciting moments from the fourth quarter didn’t make any difference on the outcome. A Lily Thomson steal led to a Mastrobuono layup, and some clutch free throws made by Skeary had the game pretty much over with, up 43-31 with a little over two minutes left.
But a beautiful crossover from Parker Kendall put a Dedham player on the ground, which would have drawn a huge reaction from the crowd if it happened in front of a packed house.
And while Dover-Sherborn was killing the final ten seconds of the game, a Dedham defender stole a pass and sprinted for a layup. She would have deserved the “Tommy point,” but Dover-Sherborn’s player ran her down from behind. The ref called the foul on her blocked shot (it wasn’t one), but it was still a cool moment (which was very reminiscent of Louisville-Michigan and the phantom foul on Trey Burke). Even if it didn’t make a difference on the final score.