The Nantucket girls basketball team was unable to keep the momentum going that they built in their last game, a 40-24 victory over Sturgis West on December 15, when they hosted the Barnstable Red Hawks for a Tuesday matinee matchup to end a 12-day break from game action.
Nantucket lost the game 55-31, but head coach Rafael Osona said there are reasons for optimism following the defeat.
"Barnstable adjusted to what we were doing defensively and when we switched what we were doing, we started to struggle with team defense," Osona said. "In the long run, I think it will be beneficial to see how we were getting beat. It really painted a clear picture of what we need to improve on. We did a lot of things really good, but today showed us what our deficiencies are. But we came out quick and showed we could play with that team. We showed that in the first and third quarters."
Nantucket played just six players after a few had to miss practices last week for personal reasons, Osona said, so they relied heavily on players such as senior guard Ciara Barnett (team-high 11 points), senior center Kacey Riseborough (seven points), and sophomore guard Maddie Lombardi (nine points). Keisha Fowler had four points for Nantucket.
The Whalers were in it after one quarter, trailing 14-11. But a 20-7 scoring advantage in favor of the Red Hawks put Nantucket in a 16-point deficit entering halftime.
Nantucket chipped into that deficit a bit in the third quarter outscoring Barnstable 11-8, but the Red Hawks shut down Nantucket's offense in the fourth and final quarter allowing just two points while scoring 13 points of their own to bring the score to 55-31 as the final buzzer sounded.
"We didn't have any substitutes so all things considered, it was encouraging to see the moments where we played well and I think we can learn from it. Hopefully we can get some good practices in between now and our next game so we are ready to go."
The Whalers will look to get back to .500 when they travel to Dennis-Yarmouth to take on the Dolphins (3-0) on Tuesday, January 3 at 3:30 p.m.