The first time Mansfield and King Philip girls' basketball teams met — back in December — the Hornets were able to limit the Warriors to a mere 27 points on the scoreboard.
This time around, KP was able to knock down 55 points. Unfortunately, the final outcome was the same as Mansfield took home a 62-55 Hockomock league win in girls basketball.
“We certainly had our hands full tonight. (Coach) Meg [Barry] has them playing very hard,” Mansfield Coach Mike Redding said. “They are so much more improved than they were when we played them the first time. “
King Philip knew, in order to derail the Hornets, they were going to have to come out with a hard-fought game full of intensity. The Warriors did just that, but were a bit too aggressive and found themselves in foul trouble early on. Mansfield held an early 10-8 lead after the opening quarter with 60 percent of their points coming from the charity stripe.
The Warriors continued to play aggressively and sent the Hornets to the line more times than Barry would have liked.
“It’s tough to win when the other team is shooting 39 free throws and making 28 of them,” the KP coach said. “The girls practiced hard all week, and tonight they applied everything that we worked on and left it all on the court. I couldn’t be prouder.”
The Hornets went into the halftime holding onto a slim six-point lead (24-18) thanks to a well-balanced scoring attack. Kelly English, Julie Campbell and Kaitlyn McCarthy all had five first half points, while Michaela Bowes had seven. Bowes would lead all scorers with 14 in the game, while English ended up with 12 and Campbell, McCarthy and Janet Maher all ended up with nine points in the victory.
Although they never led in the contest, the Warriors were able to keep the Hornets in striking distance throughout the entire game. However, each time that KP would mount an attack to get within a basket or two, the foul trouble would arise and the visitors were able to put a little distance between themselves and the home team.
“This was a great basketball game. We’re not that big, and KP took advantage of that tonight,” Redding said. “They key to tonight was that we were able to make free throws. If we don’t make those free throws they definitely have a chance to win it.”
After falling behind in the first two quarters of play, King Philip virtually played Mansfield even (38-37) the final two quarters in Wrentham. The Warriors, who had three scorers in double digits, were led by Ellen Wagner’s 13. McKenna McMorrow added 11 and Jenna Liljeberg netted 10, while Emily Richards and Ashley Johnson had seven points in the loss.