South Windsor Girls Earn Well-Rounded Victory at Manchester

MANCHESTER-South Windsor followed up a solid season-opening win against Middletown in impressive fashion Friday night, controlling both sides of the floor in a dominant 76-34 win over Manchester. The Bobcats offense moved the ball fluidly and shot well throughout the game, while their defense consistently forced the Indians into poor shots and turnovers.

The South Windsor offense displayed strong depth, with four players scoring in double figures and eight overall. Senior forward Molly Murphy led the way with 23 points, senior guard Alex Goslin scored 19, and junior sisters Stephanie and Alyssa Karlins scored 11 and 13, respectively.

“We distributed the ball well on offense,” South Windsor coach Don Leclerc said. “We stress ball movement, and I was very pleased to see so many girls touched the ball and contributed to our scoring.”

Senior Sierra Glasgow led Manchester with nine points, while senior Jocelyn Moulton scored eight and sophomore Ianez Rose put up seven. The Indians, who lost their first game of the season after defeating Berlin Tuesday night, struggled to not only make shots but run offensive sets and rebound as well.

“We didn’t run our offense well tonight,” Manchester coach Leanne Crockett said. “We were playing one on one basketball instead of running our sets together as a team like we did against Berlin.”

South Windsor established control quickly in the first quarter, jumping out to a 17-7 lead and ending it leading 22-12. The offense did an efficient job pushing the tempo and rotating the ball between the perimeter and paint, allowing players to convert layups and knock down open shots. Meanwhile, the Bobcats played excellent on-ball defense, grabbing multiple steals that led to easy baskets and forcing additional turnovers. Goslin led her squad on both ends, scoring eight points and earning both multiple assists and steals.

After Rose scored inside early in the second to make it 27-16, South Windsor owned the remainder of the quarter, holding Manchester without a field goal until its final shot of the half. It dominated inside, as Manchester’s offense struggled to move the ball and its defense failed to keep Murphy and her teammates out of the paint. The Bobcats outrebounded the Indians on both ends, with Murphy in particular using her size and strength to create space. She led the offense in the quarter with nine points. The Indians issues with scoring in the paint were worsened by their inability to make outside shots.

“On offense, we moved the ball well and took good shots,” Murphy said. “No one was forcing shots, and we always looked to take the best shot instead of just the first open one.”

“Our man to man defensive rotations and weakside help could have been better,” Crockett said. “The South Windsor players all play well together.”

The second half followed a similar script for both teams. South Windsor started the half on an 11-2 run and led 58-29 at the end of the third. Glasgow was a bright spot for Manchester in the quarter, scoring six points, while Stephanie Karlins scored seven. The Bobcats to keep their foot on the pedal in the fourth, outscoring the Indians 18-5.

“As a team, we didn’t quit and played well until the end, which is a good sign for the team and program,” Crockett said. “I received a lot of compliments about the girls effort.”

Leclerc and Murphy both said the team’s defense improved over the course of the game.

“Our defense didn’t start off as well as it could have, but once we settled down and relaxed the defense tightened up,” Leclerc said. “I was pleased it picked up in the second half and happy with where we are at this point in the season.”

“Our defense started off a little slow, but coach brought us in and said to pick it up and from there we began getting in the passing lanes and rebounding better,” Murphy said. “Our defense propels our offense, and that’s what happened tonight.”

South Windsor shot well from the free throw line, going 11-16, while Manchester struggled, making just 5-13.

Manchester will next play Monday against Fermi at home, while South Windsor will host E.O. Smith that night, which has already earned impressive conference wins against Avon and RHAM.

“I think we’re ready for the challenge of facing E.O. Smith,” Leclerc said. “It’s going to be a fight, but I like how we’re playing and believe we’re progressing in strides.”

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