SHARON, Mass. – Attleboro senior Sarah Deyo stepped to the line in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s game at Sharon needing just one point to reach 1,000 points for her career. Her friends and family, including her parents and her brother, were cheering in the stands just over her right shoulder while her teammates stood in anticipation on the bench to her left.
Deyo took a breath and shot the front end of a one-and-one. That is when things got a little different.
The shot missed short, but none of the rebounders had moved and the ball caromed directly back to Deyo. She grabbed it and looked down at the ball, seemingly in shock. Still, no one moved. It seemed like an eternity (but was most likely only a second) before Attleboro coach Rick Patch yelled at Deyo to shoot and the Southern New Hampshire-commit realized what was happening and drove to the basket for the milestone-achieving layup.
“Everyone just stood there and everyone was just looking at me,” joked Deyo after the game. “I was just looking at the ball and was like what am I supposed to be doing until someone said, shoot it! I just dribbled and shot the ball.” She added with a laugh, “I was so confused.”
Deyo finished the game with 28 points, leaving her at 1,002 for her career, and Julia Strachan added 30 points, on 10 made three-pointers, to lift the Bombardiers to a 92-55 victory. It was Attleboro’s third straight win by at least 30 points to start the season.
But after the game, all the talk was about Deyo and her accomplishment. Patch said, “You’re looking for a leader and often times she’ll finish doing cardio and she’ll see other kids still running and she’ll jump in and she continues to encourage.”
When it was mentioned that Deyo reached the milestone while unselfishly dishing out seven assists (and pulling down 15 rebounds), Patch replied, “I think that says everything about her and what our program is about… That’s part of her commitment to the team…She’s a very selfless kid who really just wants to win.”
As she was surrounded by well-wishers after the final whistle, Deyo explained, “I wasn’t trying to force anything, I just wanted it to happen when it was meant to happen. I just felt like if I continued to play how I play, rebounding, passing the ball, shooting, then it was going to come.”
She admitted, “That last free throw that I missed, it was definitely on my mind. I could just see everyone standing up and I was like, oh God.”
The Bombardiers came in focused on getting the ball to Deyo and allowing her to make a run at the milestone and their press forced turnovers and led to easy baskets in transition. Sharon scored the opening basket on a layup by Emma Eberhardt (team-high 20 points), but Attleboro would go on a 21-2 run to break the game open early.
Deyo scored eight in the quarter and Strachan knocked down a pair of threes. Jordyn Lako added four points, including a fast break layup off a Sam Pierce (nine points) steal. The Eagles tried to stay close when Kaitlyn Wallace (14 points) and Veronica Wallace(nine points) buried threes to end the quarter but the hosts trailed 23-10 after one.
Sharon coach Cliff Tomassian said, “We talked about running our press break in our positions the way we were supposed to be and a couple of times we just didn’t have a girl in the middle where they’re most vulnerable. We got over half-court and the girls didn’t know what to do anymore.
“Once that got going, it was just tough for us to get back into it.”
As a contest, the Bombardiers put the game out of reach in the second, outscoring Sharon 30-5. The Bombardiers hit seven shots from beyond the arc with Strachan hitting four, Lako (12 points) knocking down two and Deyo stepping back to make one as well.
The hot shooting carried over to the third quarter with Strachan again showing off the range. The Adelphi-commit made three more from outside, two from the corner including one off a drive and kick by Deyo. With 10 threes on Tuesday, Strachan has already made 20 on the season and hit the 30-point mark in a game for the second time this year.
“When she gets one of her first two it’s like a confidence boost for her,” said Patch. “She is probably one of the best shooters, male or female, I’ve seen in high school. She’s had…20 threes; that’s a lot. That’s a season for some kids.”
The Eagles continued to play hard in the final quarter despite the big deficit. Shira Stoller (eight points, seven rebounds, and four assists) knocked down a pair of threes and Kaitlyn Wallace added a pair as well. Eberhardt led the way with 11 of her 20 points in the fourth.
Tomassian said, “I know they took most of their starters out at that point but it’s good to see that our bench players and even our starters were still engaged in the game. It’s good to know they’re all staying positive.”
Last season, the Bombardiers had another player chasing 1,000 but Emily Houle did not close in on the milestone until the final few games of the regular season. This year, the Bombardiers will not have to worry about that and can now focus solely on their quest for a first Hockomock title.
“Last year was a perfect storm for everyone but us,” Patch admitted. “That was a big wear and tear on everybody. I just told [Sarah] to go out and play and once she gets close you know we’re going to pound it to you.”
Attleboro (3-0) will step out of the league next week to play in the Cranston East (R.I.) tournament, with the first game against Cranston West (R.I.) on Tuesday. Sharon (2-2) has eight days off before hosting Holliston.
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