On Tuesday night, Stoughton put together a solid defensive effort and its best offensive performance of the season with a dominating 68-42 victory at home against King Philip.
The Black Knights have now won four straight games and five of their last six to improve to 7-4 overall (6-3 league and 3-1 small schools Davenport Division. King Philip continues to struggle with its eighth loss in the last nine games, falling to 4-10 overall (1-8 in the league).
The two teams met earlier this season and it was a tight contest with Stoughton taking a hard fought decision, , at King Philip. This matchup looked to be headed the same way as the teams were knotted, 2-2, after 4:30 of play. Then the Stoughton defensive press began to force turnovers and set up fast break points.
Stoughton took a 14-6 lead into the second quarter and then went on an 18-0 run. The Black Knights outscored the Warriors 23-5 in the second quarter to take a commanding 37-11 lead at halftime.
Junior center Nicole Daniels again dominated the paint at both ends of the court. Daniels had another double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds to go along with 6 blocks and 3 steals.
There were plenty of contributions to go around as Stoughton played all 14 players with 11 scoring.
Senior tri-captain Chrystal Holland had 5 points and added 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Starting point guard junior Emma Zuk continued her fine play with 10 points, 4 steals and 4 assists, with solid defense, controlling the offense and leading the fast break and transition game.
Senior tri-captains Jackie Kuhn and Katherine Chlus combined for 7 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Junior Mackenzie McGrath added 6 points, 3 steals and great hustle to the starting lineup.
The team's bench players as they combined for 23 points. Megan Crimmins had 6 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals with tenacious defense. Junior forward Ariene Ohimor and sophomore forward Kayla Motley combined for 6 points and 7 rebounds. Marlena Siegel, a junior, (5 points) and senior Jessica Freitas (3 points) also had fine efforts.
Stoughton held a 38-19 rebounding advantage.
“Our defense (only 42 points allowed per game) was again solid, but our offensive effort was our best in a long time. We passed and moved without the ball very well,” Stoughton coach Janet Sullivan said.
“We’re playing with a lot of confidence and we’re coming together as a team with everyone contributing. We’re also getting great play from our guards and we’re scoring from the outside to go along with our strong inside game. When that happens our opponents can’t double team us down low.”
Both teams scored 31 points in the second half. King Philip senior captain Jenna Liljeberg (8 points) and senior Emily Richards (6 points) led the Warriors’ effort that saw all 11 players score.
The Stoughton lead was as high as 31 and cut down to as little as 22.
“We’re playing hard, aggressive and with a lot of heart and we never give up, but we have to be more consistent offensively and you can’t expect to win only scoring 11 points in the first half,” said King Philip coach Megan Barry. “We also have to box out and rebound better and get second chance opportunities, and allow less second chances.”
Stoughton will attempt to continue its winning streak when it travels for the first time to Attleboro, on Friday night, while King Philip will host first place the same night.