LYNN — The Lynn Tech girls basketball team has a tough act to follow after last season.
The Tigers were 10-10 in 2016, and qualified for the Division 4 North state tournament.
Tuesday night, in the first game of the new season, the girls got off to a slow start and had some torrid stretches along the way. But in the end, Greater Lawrence was too much, and the Reggies came away with the opening-night win, 54-42.
“We’re a young team,” said Tigers coach Kaitlyn Wechsler. “We had some good spurts, but there’s a lot of work we still need to do.”
Alondra Sanchez, fresh from a stint on the Tigers varsity football team that won the state vocational small championship a few weeks ago, asserted herself on both ends of the court Tuesday, scoring 19 of her team’s 42 points. And in the third quarter, Sanchez knocked in eight points in the Tigers’ 12-2 run that whittled a 12-point halftime lead by Greater Lawrence down to one, 31-30. But as many times as Tech responded to Greater Lawrence spurts, the Tigers could never took the lead.
“We’re very young too,” said Greater Lawrence’s Tara Mansour. “We only have two seniors on the team.
“For a first game, I thought we did pretty good. I’m glad we were able to respond (to Tech’s surges) as often as we did. We obviously have some stuff to work on.”
The game started as if it would be a runaway for Greater Lawrence, as the Reggies sprinted out to a 16-5 lead after a quarter. But Sanchez heated up in the second period, scoring six points during the quarter as Tech closed to within seven (20-13). But the Reggies went on another run to close out the period to go up 29-17 at the break. Once again, Sanchez got hot while the Reggies cooled off to to begin the third quarter. But as soon as the Tigers got the score to within one, the Reggies put the clamps on and skirted out to a 5-point lead after three.
But Tech wouldn’t go away. Arianna Anaya (11 points) sank two free throws to make the score 40-37 before Kyana Pena hit two free throws, followed immediately by back-to-back buckets by Dee Cabrera and Jada Adames. And before anyone knew it, the lead was back up to nine (46-37). A single free throw by Michayla Lawrence stemmed the tide, but only briefly. Laisha Joaquin hit a bucket, and then Pena hit a back-breaking 3-pointer with 4:33 to play to make it 51-38. Tech never threatened after that.
“It was nice to see the kids figuring it out in spurts,” said Wechsler. “We’re asking them to do a lot. They’re thinking of a thousand things at once, where to be on offense, where to be on defense.
“For our first game, it was kind of what I expected,” Wechsler added. “It’s early. Give us a couple of weeks and we’ll round into form.”