LYNN — The Lynn Tech girls basketball team played the best half it had played all season Friday.
Sadly, there was a second half. And that didn’t turn out well for the Tigers. The result was a 44-21 loss to Presentation of Mary Academy of Methuen.
“We just aren’t scoring any baskets,” said Tech coach Kaitlyn Wechsler. “We’re doing really well on defense, and that’s what we’ve been working on. So I’m happy about that.
“But as you saw, even holding that team to 44 points wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of offense. We’re working on it though.”
Tech’s Arianna Anaya scored her team’s first 13 points — which sustained the Tigers through a quarter and half — before PMA came up with a way to neutralize her. After that, they shut Anaya down, save for two end-of-game free throws — and the rest of the team couldn’t compensate.
With Anaya having the hot hand, Tech led after a quarter, 10-8, and trailed by only a point, 14-13, after Anaya’s final three points — a trey from corner. Meanwhile, the rest of the Tigers were active and engaged on the defensive side of the floor, pulling down rebounds, making smart outlet passes, and hanging with the Panthers.
“I think that was the best half of basketball we played all year, and I was very encouraged,” said Wechsler. “We kept their best scorer (Shakira Henriquez) in check (she finished with eight points).”
However, there was an X factor on the Panthers, and her name was Dora Csonge, a Hungarian exchange student who simply went off on a tear in the third quarter as PMA turned a 22-17 halftime lead into a 33-17 bulge heading into the fourth quarter.
“We hadn’t seen her before,” said Wechsler. “She really was on fire there for a while.”
Csonge scored the final two points for PMA in the first half, and then rattled off 10 second-half points for a total of 12.
As for the Tigers, they were blanked in the third quarter and only scored four points in the final two periods. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Tech had the looks, and took smart shots. They just didn’t go in.
Tech falls to 4-9, making a shot at a second straight appearance in the MIAA tournament seemingly difficult to pull off.
“Frankly,” Wechsler said, “I really wasn’t expecting it. We’re young and we’re building for next year. Right now, we are really focusing in on defense, which I liked tonight. We’ve got to work on our scoring though. We have to come up with a way to compensate for the baskets we’re not getting.”