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South Boston girls' supporting cast sets tone in win over English

Posted by Justin Rice  January 14, 2013 11:07 PM

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South Boston player #13 Jocelyn Harris takes it through the Boston English defense on a drive to the basket. (Billy Owens/ For the Boston Globe)

You know the saying. You can’t win a game in the first half, but you sure can lose one.

Boston English (4-3) got outscored by South Boston 24-9 in the first quarter and despite a 3-point shooting barrage from the Blue and Blue in the third quarter, English couldn’t overcome the deficit in 58-49 loss to the Knights (6-1).

"We’ve been working on our full court, man-to-man defense and they came out and did a really good job on that," South Boston coach Andrea Higgins said. "They were getting steals and seeing players. Couldn’t be happier."

English came out just a step slower than the Knights, resulting in a lot of turnovers and missed shots. South Boston closed the first quarter on a 10-2 run. English coach Justine Grace said one of the reasons for the early lethargic play was a lack of warm-up time for the team.

“It was rough getting here, the bus showed up really late at our school so we didn’t have a lot of time to warm up," Grace said. "So I think that affected the way we had a slow start."

Grace added how she needed to call a timeout just to calm her team down and let them get their defense.

The Blue and Blue responded in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Knights 15-8 behind nine points from senior guard Ashley Louis-Jean. Senior guard Trayana Mair kept it going in the third, scoring 11 of her 24 points, including three 3-pointers.

"They’re very skilled, poised; pretty much keep their head no matter what situation," Grace said. "I rely on them a lot. They’re the number one and number two scorers for me."

However, South Boston still led 49-41 at the end of the third period while starting guard Elaina Wright-McCarthy, who was still recovering from being sick, sat out for virtually the entire second quarter and a good portion of the third. This allowed other players, like freshman guard Jocelyn Harris, to fill the void.

“We don’t need just one person to set the tone, we can all set the tone and when we do we work together and get far in our games,” said Harris, who finished with a team-high 16 points for South Boston.

South Boston forward Destinee Morris, a sophomore, started at point-guard in place of the sick Wright-McCarty in the previous two games and tallied15-points on the night, nine of them coming in the first quarter.

“I think because she had to lead the team in the past two games, she really came out as a leader in this game too,” Higgins said.

While she was happy about the win, coach Higgins quickly brought up her team’s upcoming game against Fenway, a team that handed South Boston its only loss of the season -- a 75-33 blowout.

“We’re very excited about going in to the second half of the season right now with only one loss and pretty excited to play the No. 1 team and see if we can give them a better game than the first we played [against] them,” Higgins said.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at zolankannoyoungs.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @KannoYoungs.

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.