MANCHESTER — Playing the majority of its schedule against Division 2 and Division 3 opponents, the Manchester Essex girls basketball team has limited chances to see how it stacks up against the kinds of teams the Hornets will see in the Division 4 state tournament — where they’ve always proven to be dangerous.
Last night was one of those measuring sticks for the Hornets, who hosted Division 4 and Cape Ann League foe Georgetown.
The result only furthered the belief that the Hornets will be a tough draw for anyone in the upcoming tournament. While Manchester Essex continues to struggle to replace the production of injured senior captain Evy Weihs (broken leg), the Hornets got points from nine players and held off several Georgetown surges to secure a 40-34 win on the team’s Senior Night.
“Any D-4 team that we play is a good indicator for us,” Hornets coach Lauren Dubois said. “We want to win these games and we want to show that we belong. The girls worked really hard tonight. Senior Night, they came up big and held on to it down the stretch. What’s big for us is we’re starting to develop that composure that we need in these close games.”
The composure Dubois referenced had been missing for much of the season for Manchester Essex, as the Hornets have struggled to maintain their hot streaks and recover from opponents’ runs.
Last night, though, the growth in that respect was obvious. In a back-and-forth game in which neither team ever led by more than seven points, the Hornets found their opportunities to get their points and remained steadfast when the Royals would respond.
Ella Silag-Stearns, despite a cold shooting start to the game, ultimately finished with a team-high 10 points, while freshman guard Sydney Christopher drained three 3-pointers for nine points.