HB falls to Central

It started like a nightmare for the Hollis Brookline High School girls basketball team and a didn’t get much better.

The Cavaliers gave up the first 14 points of the game on the way to a 68-35 loss to Manchester Central Friday in the Central Girls Christmas Tournament.

The Little Green opened the game in an extended 2-1-2 press that forced the Cavs into six turnovers in their first eight possessions. Central forced HB to turn the ball over 28 times in total.

Central had six scorers with at least seven points, as the Cavaliers were unable to close out on Central’s guards who pumped in five 3-pointers.

“We talk about this, we walk through it in practice, and it still hasn’t sunk in yet,” HB coach Bob Murphy said. “Me as a coach, I’m going kind of crazy because I’m saying these same things over and over again. When you’re facing teams like this you’ve got to get outside on the shooters.”

After finishing the first quarter down 17-5 the Cavaliers put together a run to start the second quarter to close the gap to 20-15. However, the Little Green countered with a 14-4 run of its own to open up a 14-point halftime lead.

The Cavaliers played man-to-man defense but the speed and size of Central was too much.

“We have to work on our defenses,” Murphy said. “Manchester Central has a lot of weapons, high outside shooters, low post players. To play in any competition like this you’ve got to be good at man-to-man defense so we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get better as a man-to-man team. You’ve got to learn to call screens. You’ve got to learn to box out.”

Offensively the Cavaliers had seven girls reach the score sheet. Celeste Marsan and Maddy Blake each scored seven points for HB. Kristen Dupont pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.