BRISTOL - Midway through its season, the Bristol Central girls basketball team has struggled. Through their first 11 games, the Rams have yet to earn a win and currently sit at 0-11.
While the 36-30 loss to Maloney on Tuesday finished as a six-point defeat, the 27-13 score going into the fourth quarter allowed the Spartans to play back on defense and make Bristol Central work in order to have any opportunity to comeback.
The Rams did their best with a 17-point, third-quarter performance but the deficit was too much to overcome. Handling and adjusting to defenses’ pressure has been an issue for Bristol Central this season, a big reason why the Rams average just 31 points per game offensively.
Turnovers also plagued Bristol Central against Maloney.
In the first quarter alone, the Spartans scored eight points off of Rams turnovers and limited Bristol Central to two points as they controlled possession of the ball.
With the 13-2 lead going into the second quarter, Maloney eased off a little with its pressure on the Rams and as a result, the Spartans were outscored 5-4.
Out of the half, Bristol Central was once again faced with pressure. This time, the Rams did a better job, scoring six points in the third quarter but Maloney still finished the period with 10 points of its own.
In the final quarter, the Rams established more of a rhythm on the offensive end of the floor. They moved the ball around and found good shot opportunities, something that didn’t occur in the first three quarters.
“We picked up our intensity and we played well in the fourth quarter,” Bristol Central’s Allison Jessie said. “We didn’t play as hard as we should in the first three [quarters]. If we did, I think we would’ve been in it the whole time.”
Bristol Central’s offense looked strong when the ball was moving around. Though, finding consistency in that department and staying composed when faced with pressure is something the Rams must discover moving forward if they hope to turn their season around.
With the next game coming on the road against Bristol Eastern, the defensive looks aren’t likely to change.
That leads to the question of how will Bristol Central respond with the added element of playing its cross-town opponent that has dominated the series?
“They’re going to come out and pressure us the entire time,” Bristol Central head coach Steve Gaudet said. “As soon as the ball is thrown up they’re going to press us. We must handle it. We know it’s coming. It’s if we can play with composure and can we execute and can we get some shots.”
The Rams haven’t beaten the Lancers in over a decade.
“They’ve beaten us so many times,” Gaudet said. “It’s not even a rivalry. There isn’t a rivalry between a hammer and a nail. We just gotta play. I don’t care if it’s Bristol Eastern or the Cleveland Cavaliers. We gotta compete and play better than we did [Tuesday].”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org