By ALEX SPONSELLER The Toll Gate girls basketball team fell to host Central 38-22 in the Division III Prelims in Providence last week. Despite taking a 14-7 lead into the halftime break, the Titans could not keep pace in the second half as the Knights
The Toll Gate girls basketball team fell to host Central 38-22 in the Division III Prelims in Providence last week.
Despite taking a 14-7 lead into the halftime break, the Titans could not keep pace in the second half as the Knights rolled offensively.
Trailing 14-7 heading into the second, Central would open things up by going on an 8-0 run to regain the lead. The two teams exchanged leads throughout the second half, but Central would catch fire in the final five minutes to run away with the win.
“They did a couple of things really well coming into the second half, made some good adjustments in the post and got a couple layups quickly. They turned up the full court press and we struggled. We had the two-point lead (late) and I thought we were all set, but they got the hot hand and it hurt. It was a hard-fought battle,” said Toll Gate coach Owen Paquet after the loss. “I’m not sure what happened or what they drank at halftime, but they hit some big shots on us and we didn’t, that was the big difference.”
Natalie Aloisio and Meghan Merrow led the Titans with seven points each, while Sam Bertrand and Sydney Perreault each added four. Mashiya Mangum led Central with a game-high 12 points.
The Titans will now look toward 2021, and are preparing for a rebuild as they are set to graduate six seniors, including Aloisio, Bertrand and Sam Arnold.
“We lose a lot, it’ll be hard to replace them so we’re going to be going into a full rebuild. It’s going to be a challenge, but I look forward to it. Those seniors are irreplaceable. Sam Arnold is one of the best shooters in the state, Natalie with her ball skills and her basketball IQ, Sam Bertrand, I’d love to have another three of them, but unfortunately, they’re irreplaceable,” said Paquet.
Toll Gate will have a couple of returners, though, and Paquet is optimistic of what the future brings.
“Sydney Perreault has unbelievable courage, plays hard from start to finish. Doesn’t think twice about blocking a shot or going to the floor. She gives us that hustle which was huge for us throughout the season. Sydney and Megan Morrow will be the team next year and then we’ll see what eighth grade pieces we have as well,” said Paquet.