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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 9, 2010

Lady Dutch lose close game to Mohonasen

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– The Lady Dutch had a slow start in Tuesday’s basketball game against Mohonasen, but picked up steam for a close finish. The pattern could be a template for the season.

With most of the seats in Guilderland’s gym empty, the Dutch struggled to find the net in the beginning of the game, trailing 14 to 4 in the second quarter. But, the feisty girls from Guilderland clawed back into the contest and tied it up in the third quarter.

“We didn’t drop our heads,” said Erin Mossop, the only Dutch senior, who scored 10 points. “We hustled and made big plays that helped everyone else.”

Even with starters Amanda Kernozek and Kelly VanEpps out, Guilderland took the lead at 33 to 32 in the fourth quarter after Kim Weinberg found Mossop wide open under the basket. The Lady Dutch kept it close, but couldn’t score in the final 1:40, and the Warriors won, 42 to 36.

Guilderland used a brand-new full-court press on Tuesday and it worked wonders, causing Mohonasen to turn the ball over numerous times. However, the Dutch couldn’t turn the extra possessions into points in the first half.

“We were able to play really good defense, but we couldn’t put the ball in the hoop,” said Head Coach Frank Cacckello. “We showed really good character on defense and that’s great because it was the first time we truly used the press.”

With less than three minutes to play in regulation, Mossop dribbled across the paint and put in a hook shot for a 35-to-34 lead. The Warriors made most of its free throws down the stretch to seal the game.

“We did a lot better than the last game,” Mossop said, mentioning the loss to Schenectady. “We knew what we had to do this time.”

Mohonasen had a go-to player, Lea McClain, who controlled the offense, but both Mossop and Cacckello were unsure of who was the leader on Guilderland’s side of the ball.

“We’re in a development stage I think,” Cacckello said. “It’s a search for that one player that stands out, but I usually don’t have to pick. They’ll come up, whoever they are. There are a few who can do it.”

“It’s too early to tell who the best player is,” said Mossop, who is in her third year with the team. She also runs cross-country in the fall and plays lacrosse in the spring. “Soon, everyone will realize where they fall. We’ll come together and be better.”

One weakness that stood out for the Lady Dutch on Tuesday was rebounding. The Warriors got second and third chances on offense. “We need to box out better,” Mossop said. “Opponents are getting too many shots.”

On the positive side, Guilderland can go 11 players deep, its entire roster. “You need to be patient and learn before you win,” said Cacckello. “Once you get a hold of that, then expectations come for winning.”

Mossop told The Enterprise that being the only senior is “definitely different,” but fun at the same time. “Being young can only help us in the future,” she said. “The girls ask me good questions and I put my two cents in. I’m here to help everyone and Kim, Amanda, and Cristal (Benton) are stepping up to help me, too.”

Cacckello is in his 16th year of coaching basketball, so he knows how to be patient with a young team. Guilderland will look for its first win at Colonie tomorrow night.

“I love coaching this team and they love playing; it makes a difference,” Cacckello said. “They’re going to be patient, like me, and at some point we’ll be dangerous.”

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