LITCHFIELD >>Both Northwestern and Litchfield suffered from first game jitters but it was the Highlanders who left Litchfield as winner, 33-16.
“It was the first game for everyone. We have to play a lot better if we want to contend with the top teams in the league,” said Highlanders head coach, Fred Williams. “We got out of here with a win.”
The Cowgirls came into this season with only a few players who have varsity experience and it showed early on as they didn’t score their first basket until the second quarter.
“First game jitters, we don’t have a lot of experience,” said Litchfield head coach, Jessica Zenowitz. “A lot of things were happening fast.”
The only player that got started scoring early for either team was Highlanders junior Emma Beltrandi who scored 10 of her game high 20 points in the first quarter and recorded 13 rebounds.
“She got quite a few boards and made key shots when we need it,” said Williams.
Two Highlanders seniors made impacts during the game that won’t show up in the point’s column.
Liz Newkirk had a double-double of her own, with 11 rebounds and 10 steals while Kathleen Wysocki controlled the team by bringing the ball up the court.
“Liz was awesome, she has a great sense of the game,” said Williams. “Kathleen, if she can play with that composure, we can win games.”
Beltrandi credits Newkirk for one of the reasons why she was able to have the game she did.
“That was incredibly crucial,” said Beltrandi of Newkirk’s double-double. “I wouldn’t have been able to score without her hard work.”
After being shutout in the first quarter by the Highlanders, the Cowgirls played them close, winning the second quarter 5-4 and then losing both the third and fourth quarter closely 6-5 and then 9-5.
Even though they lost Zenowitz was pleased with her team.
“We only have six players with experience on the varsity level, we did well,” she said. “We held Northwestern to 33 points.”
Zenowitz also talked about some of the things that they need to work on.
“We need some scoring,” she said. “We also need to improve on the boards and boxing out.”
Williams was impressed by the Cowgirls effort and knows it will benefit his team.
“They played hard and that will help us,” he said. “They will win their share of games.”
Northwestern is back in action on Friday at home against Shepaug at 7 p.m. and Litchfield will travel to Housatonic to play the Mountaineers on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Northwestern 33 Litchfield 16
At Litchfield High School
Northwestern 14 4 6 9—33
Litchfield 0 5 5 6—16
Northwestern (33): Emma Beltrandi 10-0-20; Jackie Columbie 2-0-6; Amanda Soltis 1-1-3; Kelsi Hodgkins 1-0-2; Kathleen Wysocki 1-0-2; Liz Newkirk 0-0-0; Jaiden Dropkick 0-0-0.
Litchfield (16): Zoe Weik 3-0-6; Samantha Foley 2-0-4; Sophie MacDonald 1-0-2; Tara Shakley 0-2-2; Emily Dragan 0-2-2; Elena Kennedy 0-0-0.
Records: Northwestern 1-0, Litchfield 0-1.