The Hamilton Yankees girls’ basketball team extended their winning streak to six games after defeating the LACES Unicorns 60-35. The win gives Hamilton a 12-4 overall record and LACES has a 11-7 record.
“It feels great knowing that we accomplished that as a team,” said Hamilton sophomore Kinidi Curl. “I can tell everybody is excited that it’s six in a row.”
The Unicorns started the game strong, jumping to a 7-1 lead halfway through the first quarter. They presented a physical defense by double-teaming the Yankees and forcing turnovers. At the end of the first quarter, LACES was ahead 16-13.
“We really try to trap on our defense and our coach is really defensive minded,” said LACES senior Kenna McConnachie. “Even on screens, we double-team the screens and double-team the handoffs.”
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To start off the second quarter, juniors Sherilynne Chensam and Kaci Mcalister established a six-point run. The Unicorns found gaps in the Yankee’s defense to score and keep the game close. Shots by sophomore Jade Fort and Curl in the final minutes of the second quarter gave the Yankees a six-point advantage going into halftime.
Freshman Sincere Aubrey and junior Katie Chiba gave LACES a four-point run to start the second half. The Unicorns then went cold for three regulated minutes. When they scored again, the Yankees were up by 10 points.
“We started trapping a lot more aggressively when we found out that they were,” Fort said. “So we gave them a taste of their own medicine.”
Hamilton pushed the pace on offense throughout the second half. Curl noted how the Yankees wanted to boost their score as the game progressed.
“I felt like [the score] was close and I know we could do better, I could do better personally,” Curl said. “I noticed that it got to everybody and we just started picking up our pace.”
Hamilton is in second place in the Western League and LACES is in fifth place. The Yankee roster is made up of mostly sophomores.
“I feel like because we’re a young team, we know that we have time to get better together,” Fort said. “We’re getting our Chemistry better, so that’s motivating us.”
Despite the loss, LACES won nine of their last 12 games as of Wednesday. Unicorns girls basketball head coach Jelani Bandele noted their scrappiness in the matchup against Hamilton.
“I told our girls everything we do, every game, every practice is only to help us in the division I playoffs when the playoffs get here,” Bandele said. “I understand the regular season is a process to get us where we want to go.”