WRENTHAM, Mass. – For the second time in the span of a little more than 24 hours, Attleboro faced the high-energy, high-pressure style of King Philip and for the second straight day exploded offensively in the second quarter to grab control of the game.
After scoring 26 points in the second on Saturday afternoon to turn an eight-point deficit into an eight-point halftime lead, Attleboro recorded 19 points in the second on Sunday to turn a one-point game into a double digit lead. KP never got closer than nine points in the second half, as Attleboro pulled out a 64-50 victory, extending its win streak to five.
“We’re not going to change,” Attleboro coach Marty Crowley explained. “We want to come out and play with the same tempo and I thought our kids did a nice job, second day in a row, of handling it. We spread the ball around pretty good and were able to get a lot of kids involved and that’s what you have to do against a team that plays this kind of defense.”
The Warriors started well offensively on Sunday with Emma Glaser (13 points and five steals) and Liv Lafond (10 points and eight rebounds) knocking down early threes. Glaser turned a steal into a breakaway layup for Caroline Aaron and KP jumped out to an 8-4 lead.
Attleboro turned things on a little earlier than it did on Saturday, starting to find the range midway through the first. Emma Reilly (15 points and seven rebounds) got her first basket on a put-back and Meghan Gordon (20 points and 15 rebounds) followed with an offensive rebound to put Attleboro in front for the first time.
Elizabeth Molla set up Emily Sawyer for a layup to make it 12-11, but Gabby Bosh (six points) got the ball ahead to Ryan Johnson (13 points and five blocks) for a tough runner off glass that gave the Bombardiers a one-point edge.
In the second, Julia Marsden banked in a three-pointer to make it 17-15, which was the final lead of the game for the Warriors. Reilly answered with a mid-range jumper and then the lefty knocked down another pull-up jumper to put Attleboro ahead for good.
“They’re really good,” said KP coach Dan Nagle. “They have a lot of kids that just finish plays. They make those eight-foot, 10-foot jump shots, which most teams are missing those and it turns into a decent possession, but Reilly was like 10-for-10 on those shots.”
That was the start of a 17-0 run for the Bombardiers that turned the game on its head. Johnson got a couple baskets in the paint and freshman point guard Narissa Smith (six points and seven assists) scored five straight, drilling a three and scoring off a steal. Bosh added another layup from a Smith steal and Attleboro led 32-17.
Molla hit a three to cut the lead to 12 at halftime, but the damage had been done for the visitors.
Crowley said, “The second quarter we took off. We made adjustments against their press and we just kept attacking the basket. A lot of it is with our guards, we took the ball to where it’s supposed to be.”
Glaser hit her second three to start the second half and cut the lead down to nine, but it only momentarily stemmed the tide, as Attleboro followed with a 10-0 run. Gordon caught fire in the third, scoring eight points largely by crashing the boards.
KP answered back with a 9-0 run of its own and twice got the score down to 10 but couldn’t get it back to single digits.
“We just didn’t play great today,” Nagle admitted. “I think we were just a second late all weekend and I think a lot of that comes from not being able to play all week and not being in the gym at all. It’s part of this year. I told the kids, Attleboro isn’t going to feel bad that we weren’t in the gym, they’re going to come and take it to us and I think they did.”
Lafond knocked down a three, Marsden turned a steal into a layup, Aaron did the same, but each time Attleboro would have a response to keep the Warriors at bay. Bosh hit a tough floater and Kayla Goldrick knocked down a jumper, and Reilly continued to be dangerous in the mid-range.
Attleboro led 50-36 heading into the fourth and used an 11-4 run to extend the lead to as many as 21 points. KP tried to turn the pressure up a notch and started forcing turnovers, but the shots just wouldn’t fall consistently. Sawyer (10 points and eight boards) hit a three and Glaser had seven points in the fourth, but Attleboro held onto a big enough lead to keep things comfortable to the final whistle.
“That’s the joy of building a lead,” said Crowley. “We got it up to 19 and then they made that run on us there to get it down. You get a stop, het a hoop, get a free throw and you’re back in business again.
“We’ve got a lot of kids doing things well for us on both ends right now. We gained our composure again. Our thing is just to win quarters and that’s what we did today.”
Attleboro (5-1) remain one back in the loss column to league-leading Franklin, which hosts the Bombardiers on Tuesday. King Philip (3-5) will close out its league campaign with two against Taunton this week.