Cavaliers take care of business in prelim win over West
HOLLIS – They were simply taking care of business.
The Hollis Brookline High School girls basketball team for the most part played like a No. 2 seed should, disposing of No. 15 Manchester West, 48-24, in the Division II preliminary round on Tuesday night.
As businesslike as it was, it had to be a feel good night for Elizabeth Bonnette, who missed the postseason last year due to an ankle injury but is determined to help the Cavs go deep into this year’s tourney.
“It’s just proving we can make it this far if we play together as a team and try to show our competitors what we’ve got,” said Bonnette, who had 15 points on five 3-pointers. “We started out pretty slow, thinking we had this game in the bag, which happened the last time we played them. But second quarter we had a reality check.”
The reality is the Cavs should have cruised past the 9-10 Blue Knights, which they did after surviving a 9-0 West run in the first period, after which HB was up 12-11. But Bonnette and Christina Balsamo (11 points) hit big 3’s in the second as the Cavs outscored West 19-3 to basically put the game away, up 31-14.
“We should beat this team like we did,” said Cavs coach Bob Murphy, whose 17-2 team now hosts No. 7 Bishop Brady on Friday in the quarterfinals. “They played a tough zone, I’ve got to give them credit, they hung in there.
“Bonnette hit some outside shots. She played a lot and she played well. We have to have that. We didn’t have her in the playoffs last year because of a sprained ankle. She’s a facilitator,she’s a great shooter and she’s also a very good defensive player. She helps us out in many, many ways.”
The Blue Knights were led by Abuk Teng with nine points. West coach Jerry Haynes knew his team would have an uphill battle, and he thinks others facing the Cavs will, too.
“It’s a tough team,” Haynes said. “Hollis certainly can win it, I think.”
Now it gets tougher for the Cavs, though. The Green Giants, who beat No. 10 Merrimack Valley 65-50 last night, will shoot from anywhere on the floor; the Cavs did beat them 78-67 here just a couple of weeks ago.
“Nobody’s similar to Brady, they’ll cross half court and take the 3-point shot. And they’ve got a lot of weapons.”
So do the Cavaliers, who emptied their bench last night. “We’re healthy,” Murphy said, adding he’s glad to have a home quarterfinal. “That (staying home) was goal No. 1 this year.”
“I’m looking forward to moving on,” Bonnette said.
Onward, and, the Cavs hope, upward.