Fourth-quarter comeback leads Dartmouth over Apponequet
LAKEVILLE — It took until the fourth quarter for the Dartmouth High School Indians girls’ basketball team to get into gear against the Apponequet Regional High School Lakers, but once they did, they proved hard to stop.
Dartmouth entered the fourth quarter down 11 points, but they pulled out a 42-33 win at Apponequet on Jan. 31.
Dartmouth outscored Apponequet 22-2 in the final period of play.
“Our defensive energy was awesome,” Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Jalbert said. “Creating turnovers helped us score.”
Sophomore guard Katherine Cheesebro led all scorers with 21 points. She took over in the fourth quarter as she scored eleven consecutive, unanswered points to lead the comeback and seal the win.
Cheesebro’s late-game heroics were capped off with a jump shot she made while being fouled. She made the ensuing foul shot to put her team up by four points with three-and-a-half minutes remaining.
Freshman guard Kaelyn Zuber sparked the Dartmouth comeback with two layups early in the fourth quarter before Cheesebro went off for eleven straight.
A late three-pointer from sophomore guard Remy Barber and two late foul shots from senior forward and team captain Abbie Zuber put the contest out of reach.
Apponequet sophomore guard Addison Taylor set the pace for the hosts to start the game. She scored eight of her team-high 17 points in the first quarter.
Early in the game, the Lakers prioritized slowing down the pace of play because of Dartmouth’s penchant for high-pressure defense and fast-paced offense.
“We wanted to slow them down,” Apponequet Head Coach Trevor Gagnier said. “We knew they wanted to play fast-paced, and I don’t think we were ready for that tonight.”
Junior guard Ava Dixon of Apponequet supplemented Taylor’s scoring with 11 points. She made three three-point shots for nine of her points.
Jalbert had his team play in different types of defenses to make Apponequet work harder to advance the ball and to increase the pace of play.
“In the second half, they tried to press us,” Gagnier said. “We just struggled against the pressure.”
Once the Indians started to force turnovers and run up and down the court, both coaches knew they would be hard to stop.
“Getting those turnovers didn’t allow them to set up in their defense,” Jalbert said. “Our defense at the end, and it’s my fault for not switching to it earlier, our girls did such a great job when we switched to it.”
The teams entered the game with similar win-loss records: Dartmouth moves to 8-5 on the season after the win, while Apponequet is 8-8 after the loss.
Dartmouth’s next game is at Brockton High School at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3.