‘We can turn it into a good loss’: Undefeated run ends for Dartmouth girls basketball
Dartmouth’s 12-win undefeated run came to an end on Friday, Jan. 26 — but the powerhouse girls basketball team still remains the most successful squad in the Southeast conference, and one of the most winning teams in Division 2 as a whole.
In a chaotic home game against Apponequet High School, full of frequent lead changes and constant turnovers on both sides, the Indians came up short.
“I didn’t have us prepared well enough,” said head coach Brian Jalbert. “It just wasn’t our night and that’s a good team. We’ve been making mistakes for a while and when you play really good times like Apponequet, those mistakes come back to bite you.”
The Lakers picked up steam in the second half by consistently converting fast breaks into quick points. Dartmouth stayed in the game for a while with reliable free-throw shooting and strong offensive rebounds, but the deficit eventually became too much to bear, and the Indians fell 41-50.
“When we faced this adversity, we didn’t handle it really well,” Jalbert said. “Again, that’s on me.”
Apponequet may have come in with a chip on their shoulder: Dartmouth started off the season with a hard-fought win against the Lakers.
“As a team, we had too much confidence coming into the game — we thought it was going to be an easy win, because we beat them the first game,” said sophomore Kaelyn Zuber. “They came out with more enthusiasm than us.”
“They wanted it more than us and it was clear on the court,” said sophomore Lily Gangi.
Notably, the Lakers did not have sophomore Cecelia Levrault during the first outing, and Jalbert said Levrault caught them off guard this time: “She’s a great player.”
“If we learn from this, it’ll be a good thing for us,” Jalbert said. “We can turn it into a good loss if we learn from our mistakes, but this is definitely not how I wanted to spend my Friday night.”
Jalbert said the team will take the weekend off and regroup on Monday for a fresh start.
“I think it was good to lose,” Zuber said. “I’m not saying that to say that — it’ll help us learn.”
Dartmouth’s first loss comes directly after a monumental win: the team beat Bridgewater-Raynham High School for the first time in ten years, handing the Trojans their first-ever Southeast Conference loss.
Dartmouth will try to repeat its unprecedented success later in the season, when the Indians come up against Bridgewater-Raynham for the second time on Feb. 9.
In addition to making history this season, Dartmouth has made clean work of some local rivals — the team knocked down Bishop Stang High School 81-21, New Bedford High School 70-40 and twice defeated Greater New Bedford Voc Tech, 78-41 and 71-37. In fact, only Apponequet and Durfee High School have whittled the Indians’ lead below 10 points by the final buzzer.
Dartmouth is looking to build on its success from last year, when the girls team not only made it into the competitive Division 2 state tournament, but defeated Middleboro High School in the first round.
Dartmouth plays another home game next, against Brockton High School, on Tuesday, Jan. 30.