Mooney’s 14 Points Lifts Girls Hoops To First Win

David Creed •

Marin Mooney
Sophomore Marin Mooney stepped up in a big way for a shorthanded Whaler girls basketball team - scoring 14 points in the team's first win of the season. Photo by Chris Tran

Despite being without leading scorer Maddie Lombardi, the Whaler girls basketball team earned their first win of the season on Tuesday against the Bristol-Plymouth RVT Craftsmen 32-26 on the road. Sophomore Marin Mooney led the Whalers with 14 points, and Nantucket now boasts a 1-4 this season.

"It is nice to kind of break the ice on that,” head coach Rafael Osona said of earning that elusive first win. “The first part of our schedule this year is pretty tough so to get a win here was important. I think that'll get our confidence going.”

Mooney began the game with six first quarter points and was forced to pick up a lot of the offensive slack not only with Lombardi sidelined after being home from school sick, but also after point guard Alana Ludvigson picked up three quick fouls, Madison Silva picked up a pair of technical fouls which led to her being unavailable for the remainder of the game, and Mani Tavares suffering an ankle sprain that knocked him out of the game.

"We essentially had to run the better part of the game down four starters," Osona said. "We leaned really heavily on a lot of our freshmen. Our younger players were put into a pressure situation where we were getting pressed the whole game and they had to figure it out on the fly.”

Madden Meyer and Makaya Viera were two players Osona said contributed in a big way to their team's first victory – adding that they provided “tremendous minutes” while senior captain Joan Harris proved why she is the captain of this team when the going got tough.

"Joan really brought a calm, collected vibe to the players that were on the floor,” Osona said. “Her levelheaded, emotional approach to the game, as well as the skills, really kept everyone together and kept everything from falling apart.”

“Makaya had to go to the line twice at the end of the game and she was able to hit some free throws and ice of the game,” Osona added. “Then Madden had a bunch of rebounds for us.”

Osona said at any point, the game had the potential to go the other way. The Whalers were tied 9-9 after one, led 15-13 at halftime, and 22-20 after three quarters. The game was close throughout, and Mooney ultimately was the one able to score a plethora of the baskets in the absence of Lombardi.

“It was only her fourth varsity game,” Osona said of Mooney. “We were trying to figure out who was going to really score the points for us with Maddie out and then all of our starters go down. Marin stepped up and she went bananas and had those 14 points and any number of blocks as well. Pretty much all of these young players stepped up in place of all of our starters and they made it happen for us.”

Osona said the emergence of Mooney in this game is something that he hopes serves as a building block for her as she progresses through her sophomore season. He said her abilities can help solidify a much-needed interior presence for the Whalers on the court while providing a secondary scoring option alongside Lombardi moving forward once she returns.

"I think this game is going to boost her confidence and she's really just scratching the surface of what she can do," Osona said. "So that should add an extra element of what we're able to accomplish offensively. It'll be exciting when they are all on the floor again together.”

Nantucket’s next game is scheduled for Thursday, December 21 against Wareham at 3:15 p.m.

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