December 12 2018

Girls Varsity Basketball Falls Short to Woburn Tanners in Season Opener

By: Robert Parris

The Burlington High School Girls Basketball team had a disappointing loss against their rival, the Woburn Tanners, Tuesday night.

Going into this matchup the Lady Devils had schemes to contain the Tanners’ offense and defense.

“We know they play straight man-to-man in the full and half court defensively,” Head Coach Pam Mackay said. “So we focused on preparing our man offensive sets for this match up. Offensively they drive and dish, everyone on their team can shoot, and they rebound well to keep their offensive possessions alive. We knew we had to cut the lanes to the basket, contest shooters and box out.”

The Lady Devils had some trouble getting the ball in the net against the difficult Tanner defense.

“Offensively we allowed Woburn to dictate the pace and physically stop us from executing our cuts or screens, which prevented us from committing our sets,” she said. “We tried to execute things too quickly, leading to turnovers or missed shots.”

The team could not find their rhythm on defense as they could not stop Woburn’s high powered offense.

“Defensively, I thought we got better as the night went on,” MacKay said. “Initially we were getting beat off the dribble and had to rotate which left shooters open. We struggled identifying shooters and closing out to contest shots the majority of the night and allowed too many second chance points.”

During the game, the team was able to make some key stops on the defensive side of the ball but most of those defensive possessions ended up with Woburn making baskets.

“It’s difficult to beat a team shooting 50 percent from three-point range and 89 percent from the free throw line,” she said. “When you play good team defense for 26 seconds and then hit a three it takes a lot of emotional and mental energy out of you.”

Finally, with the first game in the rear view mirror, the team will have to face another opponent on the road next week.

“Wilmington is a significantly better match-up for us as they also graduated a large crop of seniors from last season,” Coach MacKay said. “I would expect that they will also want to push the pace and press us, but they won’t be as physical as Woburn and we should be able to handle their pressure better.”

The Wilmington Wildcats are coming off a loss in the first game of the year against the Belmont Marauders with the final of 62-35. Burlington defense allowed 68 points against Woburn, while Wilmington allowed 62 points against Belmont.

This should be a great game for both teams, as it will count in their division and will determine who will move up in the league.

The team will be facing the Wildcats this Friday night at 5:15 p.m. in Wilmington.


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