Mass Premier Swish opened its 2015 spring season with two quality victories over New England Crusaders 10th Grade (54-30) and Bay State Jaguars (72-61).
In the first game of the day against the Crusaders, the Swish jumped on them early thanks to some great defense that led to quick offense. MPC used a balanced effort and dominated the glass to pull away from the feisty Crusaders in the second half.
Against rival Bay State Jaguars, MPC’s depth and size proved to be too much for the Jags, as the Swish pulled away thanks to great defense, rebounding and unselfishness. The Jaguars back court of Asiah Dingle (Archbishop Williams) and Kendall Currence (Falmouth Academy) had outstanding games in the loss.
Nicole Gallagher (Bishop Feehan) – As usual, this dynamite guard set the tone on the defensive end of the court, harassing the opposition’s best ball handler. The seemingly tireless Gallagher had enough energy to be one of the offensive catalysts as well. She finished at the rim, knocked down her trademark pull-ups and saw the floor very well.
Jenna Roche (Braintree) – As an outside observer, you wouldn’t be able to tell that this was Roche’s first day with the Swish. She played a steady point guard and picked her spots to attack, finishing the day with multiple “And-1’s.” With more games under her belt, the more comfortable and dangerous she will be. Great addition to the squad.
Tess Sussman (Rivers) – Ho hum, another great day for Sussman. She dominated the glass, ran the floor well, shot it well, finished in traffic, made some great passes. She was everything expected out of her on a game-to-game basis. She is a triple-double threat every game.
Anna Shaughnessy (Bishop Feehan) – It was like a homecoming for Shaughnessy, who picked up right where she left off in the fall – dominating the interior with great touch. She also showcased her much improved face up game with a three pointer and handled the rock effortlessly. Also got after loose balls and rebounds with a renewed energy.
Kiera Fernandes (Worcester Academy) – Fernandes, now playing where she is most natural on the perimeter, showcased that sweat shot during both games. She hit a back breaking 3-pointer against the Jaguars in the corner that didn’t even graze the rim. She is truly one of the best outside shooters around, and a bull going to the rack.
Erika Ochenduszko (Rockland) – Coming off a winter where she was a crucial piece to Rockland’s run, Ochenduszko’s confidence and comfort was evident. She had no problem taking the ball to the rack, finishing with both hands and hitting outside shots. She was instant offense against the Jagurs.
Kaylin Reen (Norwood) – Reen kicked off her season with one of her 30-foot bombs against the New England Crusaders upon checking into the game. She hit some timely three-pointers against the Jaguars to seal the victory and got an opportunistic put back bucket to put the final nail in the coffin, en route to 11 points off the bench.
Megan Hill (Mansfield) – We lost track of how many blocks Hill had against the Crusaders, as she immediately changed the game with her rim protecting and rebounding. She is much improved from the fall after a year of significant varsity action. She displayed her much improved offensive assertiveness and touch in both games.
Jenn Butka (North Quincy) – In her first action with the Swish, Butka provided some much-needed toughness on the interior and on transition defense. She drew a crucial charge while Jaguars were making a run that flipped the momentum back to the Swish. Once she gets more comfortable, she will be a strong contributor on both ends.
The Swish play Rising Stars on Sunday morning and then will likely have a rematch with Bay State Jaguars for the title.