By Jess Thomas
Basketball season is back and the Bolton Rip Tide and Stow Lemons faced off in a 5/6th-grade girls battle on Saturday as part of the Nashoba Hoops program.
The contest was held at Sawyer School in Bolton and the Rip Tide came out on top, 32-10.
The Rip Tide, under first-year head coach Hannah Roth, improved their record to 3-0 on the young season. The Lemons fell to 0-3 with first-year co-head coaches Hanna Drugge and Rachel Farley at the helm.
Bolton got off to a quick start, as they were the more aggressive squad early on, led by Jillian Payne’s 10 first half points.
Payne pushed the ball up the court, keeping her dribble under control as she scored in bunches.
Roth said, “Jillian definitely plays a huge part in the team, but in this game, they all really worked together to pass the ball around and make sure everyone is involved in the game.”
The Rip Tide took a commanding 24-2 lead at halftime and got four players on the board in the points column.
Stow had a difficult time getting quality shots at the basket with Bolton’s defense harassing its every move.
Drugge and Farley know their young team struggled, but acknowledged that the team is new and improvement will come with time.
“A lot of our players are beginners, so basically improving on the fundamentals of the game and helping them have a good court sense, and knowing where to go, and dribbling obviously,” Farley said.
Drugge echoed Farley, saying, “Mainly offense and defense and covering people. The fundamentals of basketball.”
The second half was more competitive, with each team scoring eight points in the half. “They got more intense the second half,” Drugge said. “I feel like more into it.”
Vivien Stringfellow, of Stow, had all eight of the Lemons second half points. “We changed some positioning,” Farley said. “We moved Vivien to a point guard position and she did a really good job there.”
Taylor Murray scored the other two points for Stow on the afternoon.
On Bolton’s side, Roth appreciates how cohesively her unit plays, but she also wants to see her team improve in all aspects of the game.
For the Rip Tide, the high scorer was Jillian Payne with 14 points, but there were also contributions from Cam Weaver, who scored eight points, all in the first half. Ashley Green, Grace Roth and Jessie Klausner also scored for Bolton.
Stow will look to incorporate more plays into their offense and improve as the season wears on. Farley said, “We have a few plays that we haven’t really run yet, so we’re trying to work on those.” Drugge added, “Offense and defense, guarding, getting more shots off and better shots.”
The Stow Lemons’ next contest will be Saturday at 2:45 p.m. against Bolton Zinn at Sawyer School in Bolton.