NEW BRITAIN - It was about as good of a start as the Plainville girls basketball team could have hoped for. The Blue Devils outscored New Britain by eight in the first quarter on Tuesday night, but from there it was all Hurricanes.
“We have been coming out and playing great first quarters,” Plainville head coach Jessica Neuweiler said. “After that, for whatever reason, we just don’t stick with what was working for us and it hurts us.”
New Britain used an extended 41-5 run, which spanned the back half of the second quarter, the entire third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter, to take control of the game. The Hurricanes eventually went on to win the game 67-39.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for New Britain (8-6) and extended Plainville’s losing streak to eight in a row. The Blue Devils now sit at 3-10.
It was the second straight night New Britain had played in game, as it lost in double overtime against Bristol Eastern on Monday. The team showed some ill effects of playing on back-to-back days early on, but after that, the Hurricanes played with plenty of energy.
“I think the first quarter was a carryover from [Monday],” New Britain head coach Tasha Manzie said. “I honestly think the girls came in here expecting a cake walk, but those Plainville guards are really fast.”
The Hurricanes were paced by Inanna Rice as she had a game-high 16 points and was also a force on the glass. Overall, New Britain had very balanced scoring in the game, as Dejia Santana and Gabby Roy joined Rice in double-figures with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Plainville got a nice performance from Amiyah Petes as she had 12 points and nailed two three-pointers. Petes was one of three Blue Devils to score in double figures as Jessica Masco (11 points) and Isabel Lozefski (10 points) joined her.
The beginning of the game was full of defense as Santana blocked two shots in the first quarter and altered several others. The score was 6-6 five minutes into the game, but then Plainville went on a 9-0 run, in which Masco had five points and Isabel Lozefski had the other four.
That run gave the Blue Devils a 15-6 lead, but potentially of more importance was the fact that Santana picked up her third foul of the game. She didn’t enter the game again until the third quarter.
“When Dejia went down with foul trouble I decided to match up with them and go small,” said Manzie, also admitting it’s something she hasn’t done this season. “I loved what the small group did out there too. They got us back in the game and then we went back to what we do in the second half.”
Plainville extended its lead to 10 early in the second quarter, but New Britain used a 10-0 run to take its first lead of the game entering halftime. Inanna Rice and Gabby Roy were keys during the run as each had four points.
New Britain came out in the second half and was able to maintain that momentum. The Hurricanes started the third quarter on a 12-2 run to extend the lead to 11. Brianna Clarke had four points during the run, which was ended by an Amiyah Petes three-pointer.
The offense picked up for Plainville in the fourth quarter, but by then, New Britain’s offense had also found its flow. Each team had balanced scoring in the fourth as both coaches emptied their benches.
“I think we are moving along rather nicely,” Manzie said. “I think we are almost there.”
Michael Woolfson can be reached at (860) 801-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org