Phillips Exeter Academy – 43
Cushing Academy – 22
The Cushing Varsity Girls’ Basketball team hopped on the bus and made the trip up to Exeter, NH to take on a consistently strong Phillips Exeter Academy squad. The end result was an experience of déjà vu of this past Saturday as it was a gritty and competitive first half followed by second half of offensive woes and a game getting progressively out of reach.
Erin Montigny was the first Cushing player to find the range as she connected on a three to put CA in front early, 3-2. Credit goes to Lily Stone on the assist for E. Montigny’s three pointer. Jalynd McDonald would score back-to-back buckets, followed by 4 of 6 freethrow shooting by Stone to make it an 11-14 game with 3:12 left in the half. Fueled by a phenomenal defensive effort, Cushing continued to claw back as Erin Rutherford forced a steal and converted it into a layup to bring the game back to a one-point contest. Cushing reclaimed its lead with :57 seconds left on the clock as E. Montigny found McDonald cutting to the hoop. Exeter responded with one more basket before the buzzer for the half went off as they laid claim to a 16-15 lead at the half.
The combination of illness, injury, and fatigue gradually set in as the second half resumed. Despite a continued strong effort on the defensive end, Cushing could not buy a hoop on the offensive as eight minutes and twenty seconds would expire off the clock before E. Montigny scored on an and-one to bring it to 18-31. Kate Montigny hit Rutherford deep to beat the press, and the ensuing bucket put Cushing still within striking distance with 6:33 to play. Unfortunately, the ball would only go through the net one more time for Cushing—one last field goal for E. Montigny at the 5:03 mark. Exeter finished the game on a 7-0 run, and, in spite of the final score, this is one that felt like more of what might have been than what was.
E. Montigny earned the leading scorer honors as she posted 8 points, 2 steals, a block, and an assist. In a really solid all-around effort, McDonald added 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. Rutherford finished with 4 points, an assist, and a steal. And playing hard for all thirty-two minutes, Stone totaled 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and took a charge! K. Montigny also took a charge, grabbed 10 boards, swatted 2 shots, forced 2 steals, and dished out an assist. Aaliyah Simons played well and tough, finishing with 2 rebounds and a steal. And rounding out the stats were a rebound and a steal by Lydia Li as well as a rebound by Jane Harmon.
The Penguins will return home to the Watkins Field House this Saturday, Jan. 19th with a 1:00pm tip against Williston Northampton School.
Season Record: 1-5