Enfield’s Domination Inside Leads to Upset of Undefeated RHAM

ENFIELD-At the end of the third quarter on Friday night, the Enfield High School girls basketball team had played neck-in-neck with rival RHAM all night, and led 40-39. To win the game and upset the undefeated Sachems, however, the Eagles needed to find a way to continue maintaining its success on offense while limiting RHAM’s ability to obtain quality shots. The solution: find the unstoppable Mary Baskerville open inside for easy baskets and make free throw shots against the zone defense while controlling the boards, and consistently force Sachems players into difficult and quick passes and shots against its 2-3 zone defense.

After three quarters of the teams trading baskets, Enfield outscored RHAM 18-11 in the fourth to defeat the Sachems 58-50. Baskerville scored 13 points in the quarter to finish with 33 points, and the team went 8-12 from the line to seal the triumph.

The Eagles improve to 10-3 with the win, while RHAM lost its first game after 11 wins. It entered the game ranked fourth in the CT state coaches poll.

“In the fourth quarter, we executed really well on the offensive end,” Enfield head coach Jay Guacher said. “We passed the ball, we moved it, and we avoided turnovers. Defensively, we kept them in front of us and avoided getting in foul trouble.”

“We definitely upped our energy level in the fourth and executed everywhere we needed to,” said guard Kaitlyn Bourque, who earned eight assists.

After trading a handful of baskets, including two and a foul shot by RHAM’S Anna Barry, RHAM held a 44-43 lead two minutes into the fourth. That is when the Eagles took complete control. Baskerville scored three consecutive baskets at the rim to give the team a 49-44 lead with 4:21 remaining. Each of these baskets, and almost all of Baskerville’s in the second half, came on pinpoint lob passes from Bourque and others which allowed her to quickly turn and shoot over defenders. After Jacklyn Santella made a pretty three-pointer to silence the crowd, Enfield shook it off and continued to force the ball inside through the holes of the zone, resulting in two free throws by Bourque and then Baskerville following an offensive rebound, and another open basket for her. This put the Eagles up 55-47 with just over two minutes to go.

Meanwhile, Enfield’s defense was executing every bit as well in the closing minutes. Defenders were always in front of Sachems ball-handlers, not allowing them to find room for easy passes and high-quality shots. As RHAM slowed down its offense to try and hold the ball for longer, its players were pressured even tougher, resulting in multiple off-balance jumpers which reflected the Sachems struggles from outside all night.

Cat Fonseca thwarted chances of any crazy comeback by draining three consecutive foul shots in the closing seconds. Fonseca, who went 9-13 at the line, finished with 13 points.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop the big kid and them from getting lobs inside. They were very accurate with their passes, and we didn’t close out quick enough on those making the passes inside,” RHAM head coach Keith Moyer said. “On offense, we tried to run, but we had to collapse on the boards so we couldn’t release anybody. We were getting destroyed there. They played well and we came up just a little bit short.”

Baskerville made five field goals in the fourth and hit 11 of 13 shots in the second half, scoring 25. She also obtained 17 rebounds. Baskerville, who stands at 6-3, was both visibly stronger and more athletic than the RHAM bigs and able to create easy shots for herself. As mentioned, she could not have done this without the strong passing and playmaking ability of Enfield’s guards in the half.

Baskerville and Bourque discussed their ability to communicate with one another and create easy baskets, particularly off of lobs.

“It’s just wherever I post up, Kaitlyn sees me there and I get it where she throws it to (and can make a basket),” Baskerville said. “I definitely think my team and I were able to make space and were more athletic than them inside.”

Gaucher also spoke about Bourque and other players’ ability to create scoring opportunities with Baskerville based off quality ball movement.

“Our girls have done a better job getting be all inside and getting it back out because we know Mary is going to get it back to herself. Our guards did a much better job of reading the defense tonight than just reading the player.”

The second half began with Enfield leading 24-22. RHAM’s decision to come out playing the press paid quick dividends, as it exploded for seven quick points. Lia Baroncini drained a three and then jumped a passing lane and stole the ball, making a layup off it. Gretchen Kron quickly hit an open jumper, putting the Sachems ahead 29-24. They continued to defend the passing lanes extremely closely and forced a few poor possessions and turnovers by the Eagles. However, they slowly but surely broke the press down and began attacking the paint, with Baskerville leading the way.

She answered a second Baroncini three with two quick baskets, making the score 32-30. After an offensive rebound and outback by Baskerville tied the score, Barry made two athletic baskets inside. After this, the remainder of the half displayed both teams playing highly aggressively, leading to many foul shots. Kron and Fonseca each made three for their squads, while Baskerville hit two (also adding a basket over the top of a defender).

The quarter ended with Enfield leading 40-39, and primed for even more domination inside.

“We played the press well, but you can only do it for so long before someone solves it,” Moyer said. “They did this, and then we had to try the zone again because we just couldn’t keep up with Baskerville.”

Baroncini led RHAM with 15 points, while Barry was a force inside with 14 points.

RHAM led 13-10 at the end of the first, with Enfield winning the second 14-9 to give the Eagles a 24-22 halftime lead. In the first, Kron scored 5 points and Barry 4, while Fonseca and Baskerville each put up 4. In the second, Cassy Urso hit two threes to provide Enfield some momentum and a halftime lead. The play in both quarters was constantly back-and-forth. Each team played strong, aggressive defense and forced multiple turnovers while making it difficult for their opponents to shoot from the outside, especially difficult for a Sachems offense which thrives on this. The Eagles and Sachems largest success on offense both came inside off of quality ball movement and at the free throw line.

“I thought we did a good job in our zone defense, and I thought we did well at closing out and not leaving our feet,” Gaucher said.

Baskerville and Bourque were each highly excited to get a signature win against an undefeated team, and indicated it spoke to the strength of the Enfield program.

“I think this win says that we are the same team we’ve always been the past few years,” Baskerville said.

“People shouldn’t look at us any differently,” Bourque added.









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