After four weeks of nothing but practice, Seabury Academy’s girls basketball team, understandably, might have been overly jittery Monday night in its season debut.
It didn’t take the Seahawks long, though, to get comfortable, as they rolled to a 46-16 victory over Kansas School for the Deaf.
The anticipation for the opener had the wrong effect on the fired-up players for a little while. Seabury had gone nearly four minutes into the first quarter without scoring and had missed its first 10 shot attempts before senior guard Hannah Spomer got the home team out of its funk with a steal and a layup.
That ignited a 14-0 Seahawks run, as Reilly Malone hit a runner in the lane, Spomer swiped two more steals and took them in for uncontested layups, Malone turned another KSD turnover into a basket, and Taylor Sweeney and Maddie McCaffrey chipped in with a bucket apiece.
After finishing the game with 14 points and seven steals, Spomer said that the successful stretch got the players comfortable.
“We were really just rushing our offense when we first started,” she said.
Before long, they were getting run-outs and lay-ins, Seahawks coach Becky Bridson said, because the players’ approach kept them from getting bummed out by the 0-for-10 start.
“They’re a positive group. They’re fighters, and they’re competitors,” Bridson said. “Obviously, we were really tight at the beginning of the game, which is understandable at the beginning of the season.”
With pressure defense that forced turnover after turnover for KSD (1-3), Seabury (1-0) didn’t allow a basket until 10 seconds were left in the first quarter, and eventually took a 26-7 lead into the second half.
Bridson said Seabury’s coaches have been stressing team defense, because they know it will naturally translate into points.
“We’re very fast; we’re very aggressive,” the coach said. “The kids have been working so hard at practice, and it really showed out here tonight.”
The third quarter was more of the same, as Seabury’s Raquel Dominguez, Alyson Oliver and Sarah McDermott joined Malone, Spomer and Sweeney in the scoring column, giving the Seahawks a 42-12 edge headed into the final quarter.
As far as the players were concerned, Spomer said, the season opener was long overdue.
“We were very excited and pumped-up to finally get our first game,” she said.
A 30-point home victory had Seabury’s coach excited, too.
“It’s a great start. It’s a great kickoff to our season,” Bridson said.
The season will actually be on-hold for more than three weeks, though, as the Seahawks don’t play again until Jan. 5, when they host Hyman Brand.
Spomer expects it will be difficult to endure another game-less few weeks, but her coach said getting a win should help with that lull.
“It’s a nice way to end the year and get into January, when our competitive season really kicks off,” Bridson said.
Seabury boys 62, Kansas School for the Deaf 29
Sophomore center Aaron Still-Lock scored 27 points and the Seabury Academy boys basketball team defeated Kansas School for the Deaf, 62-29 on Monday at Seabury’s gym.
The Seahawks improved to 4-1 on the season and will play next on Jan. 7 versus St. James Academy.