Tewksbury Girls Ice Tyngsboro, 31-23
Karalyn Gallella (21) scored eight critical points in Tewksbury's 31-23 win over Tyngsboro.
Gallery: Tewksbury at Tyngsboro [6 Images] Click any image to expand.
The cold-shooting Tewksbury girls connected on less than 20 percent of their field goal attempts in this non-league contest, but thanks to a strong defensive effort that held Tyngsboro under 15 percent from the field, TMHS was still able to pull out its second victory in a row, 31-23.
"It wasn't pretty, but we got the job done," said TMHS coach Mark Bradley after his team evened its record at 3-3 with the win. "We struggled to put the ball in the basket but we played pretty good defense and I think overall the girls worked really hard tonight. But man, we could have made life so much easier for ourselves."
Tewksbury was coming off an impressive, 61-51 win over Malden just 24 hours earlier, and the Redmen started off looking like a team that was playing back-to-back games on Tuesday. They failed to connect on a single field goal attempt in the first quarter, but held Tyngsboro to just one-of-12 from the field, and thanks to four free throws, Tewksbury led 4-3 after one period.
"With the (up-tempo) style that we play, trying to go to bed and get up and get after it again less than 24 hours later is a lot to ask," Bradley said.
Junior forward Karalyn Gallella and junior forward Molly Robertson briefly ignited the TMHS offense with a 5-0 run in the second quarter, and the Redmen led 13-11 halftime. Gallella added five more points in the third period, including a momentum-grabbing three-point play at the six-minute mark, and Tewksbury maintained a 21-15 lead heading into the final quarter. To the untrained eye, Gallella's eight-point career-high effort may not leap off the stats page, but on a night when neither team ever seemed to get warmed up, it was a difference maker.
"Karalyn is a player who has a lot of hidden talents," Bradley said. "She's got speed and she's good on the baseline. She's just got to develop into a four-quarter player, because she's got a lot of talent."
Senior forward Shannon Smith, coming off a career-high 25-point effort against Melrose on Monday, took charge in the fourth period with three points and four rebounds. and senior guard Amanda Brown buried a 25-foot bomb good for three important points with five minutes to play.
Tyngsboro had to resort to sending Tewksbury to the free throw line in the final four minutes, and the Redmen hit three-of-six, good enough to secure the win.
In addition to Gallella's eight-point effort, both Smith and junior guard Emily Velozo finished with six points, while Marissa Doherty added four and Brown and Molly Robertson had three points each.
"A win is a win," Bradley said. "At the end of the year, its a W, and non-league wins are important. We're going into the new year on a two-game win streak, so we'll take it."
The Tewksbury girls return to action Sunday at noon, at home against Lawrence.
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