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ROCKVILLE — Clang. Clang. Clang.
The Wootton Patriots girls varsity basketball team grew accustomed to that sound Tuesday, a ballad of shots that hit the rim in a disastrous
third quarter that saw them score only two points and helped the visiting Sherwood Warriors win the game 69-44.
As an early season game, with plenty of games left in the season and a playoff structure that includes every team regardless of record, the result is moot. Of note is that the Warriors are undefeated at 4-0, while the Patriots are winless at 3-0. A win for Wootton would have meant breaking Sherwood’s winning streak and finally earning a win.
The first half saw the Warriors stumble and compose themselves just enough to avoid the Patriots from leading or even narrowing the margin. A first quarter hustle by Wootton saw them end the period three points behind Sherwood.
Sherwood junior forward Hannah St. Laurent made six buckets in the second quarter to help the Warriors top the Patriots going into halftime with a score of 31-26. In a bright but brief moment, Wootton led briefly early in the second quarter.
“We’re a young team, we have a lot of underclassmen: we have two seniors and two juniors and the rest are freshmen and sophomores, and I was very proud of their effort tonight,” said Wootton head coach Maggie Dyer.
A mix of unlucky shooting and a fiery Warriors defense kept the Patriots to only two points in the third quarter. Wootton senior forward Crystal Bridge, a leader on the team who made up the bulk of the Patriots’ shooting, was kept scoreless. Balls spun in the basket before flying out in a disappointing tease and rare forced turnovers were for naught as the Wootton team squandered most of their shots as near misses.
“When they were getting down the court and getting close to the basket, I think the difference was we were rebounding the basketball,” said Sherwood head coach Tim Hobbs.
The sole Patriots score in in the third quarter was a shot by Wootton junior forward Anna Baldwin. On the other hand, the Warriors made 24 points as Sherwood freshman forward Angela Nnabue scored nine points of her own.
“In the fourth quarter, we realized if they can score that many points, so can we,” said Bridge.
The fourth quarter offered a longshot comeback for Wootton, an improbable task that would require them to score at least 30 points to win and play a flawless game of defense. An astronomical standard even in professional sports, at least the final quarter saw the Patriots finally outscore the Warriors, 18 to 14.
The Warriors have to wait until next year to keep their streak alive when they face the Springbrook Blue Devils, while the Patriots have a shot to finally win a game on the road Thursday when they take on the Blake Bengals.