Photography by Chris Tran
It got a little chippy Tuesday evening at Nantucket High School as the Whaler girls basketball team hosted the Falmouth Clippers.
It was a tight game with the Clippers coming out on top 42-32 to hand Nantucket the loss, but Whaler head coach Raf Osona said he felt like this was his team’s best game of the season.
“Overall it was our best game and the message was good team defense, communication, and lots of ball movement,” he said. “If they are going to beat us, they can beat us from the three. They checked all those boxes and next time we will be able to identify that one shooter a little earlier and close out a little sooner but again, we didn’t want to lose by way of layups.”
Osona said he and his team aren’t satisfied with this strong performance and need to use it as a springboard for a solid week of practice to prepare for their next game where they hope to get back in the win column.
Osona wasn’t shy about voicing his displeasure after the game about the game officials. He felt his team had to play against them for much of this game to go along with a strong, well-coached Falmouth opponent.
“I think those referees have some nice homes in Falmouth or something,” Osona said. “We can only control what we can control and as horrible as those refs were and I’ll say it on record, as horrible as they were and as frustrating as it was, it did not shake our ladies' confidence and I think that is the most important thing. They fought harder and said the onus is on (us).”
Junior point guard Ciara Barnett led Nantucket with 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
"I think the next level of development (for Ciara) is knowing when to put that shot up and when to pull it out and give it to shooters," Osona said. "Every time she drives she is creating shooting opportunities for our team. Every time, so just understanding do I have this layup? Can I finish it? If the answer is yes then get it but if it is not, know where your options are. I think we are on the verge of that. It is there. She is a dangerous player."
Junior forward Kesha Fowler continues to emerge as one of Nantucket’s top players and finished with six points and eight rebounds.
“She is great on the boards, very good defender, and she’s got a good attitude,” Osona said of Fowler.
The Whalers will travel to play the Sturgis West Navigators on Friday, January 13 at 5 p.m.