WINSTED >> Gilbert’s girls basketball team beat Wamogo soundly, 51-30, Friday evening at Gilbert as a sign of where the two teams stand on their own self-improvement charts.
The Yellowjackets (3-2) are all about hustle, offensively and defensively.
“We talk about wanting to hustle more,” said Coach Gerry Hicks. “We’re trying to reach our potential.”
The Warriors (0-4) are blessed with height and good athletes trying to settle into their roles on the court.
“We’re trying to play to our strength and do what we do well,” said Coach Kevin Crowley.
Friday, the Yellowjacket hustle got in the way of those lessons.
Gilbert pressed through most of the game, hurrying the Warrior shots and disrupting their assignments.
“We challenged them on defense,” said Hicks.
The Warriors shot 5-for-25 in the first half while the Yellowjackets did what they do best in a smorgasbord of outside shooting, fast breaks and cuts to the basket.
The first quarter laid out the Gilbert elements with a corner three by Grace Valickis, fast break by Liz Wexler, cut to the basket for a layup by Jill Wexler, and a drive and a three by Liz.
Liz Wexler, often sharing “shortest-on-the-court” honors with her sister, is the queen of finding ways to score, racking up a game-high 21 points while her teammates adopt the flexibility as their own.
In the first quarter, the Warriors kept up by remembering they are a team of tall athletes.
Rose Kelly started the scoring with a put-back under the basket. Cassidy Wilson, a tall sophomore who seems the most confident in that identity, put in a pair of hook shots close to the basket. Morgan Betti sent up a three-foot runner and Kelly finished off the quarter with a pair of foul shots.
The score was 12-11 Gilbert.
The Yellowjackets kept working on their hustle. The Warriors brought their shots further outside with longer-range runners.
“They’re in too much hurry to score,” said Coach Crowley.
Wilson stayed under the basket, finishing as the Warrior high scorer with 12. Many of the others were frustrated with their lack of success from further out.
As the Gilbert hustle revved up, the pendulum swung harder to the Yellowjackets, reeling off a 10-1 Gilbert streak into the break for a 27-14 halftime lead.
Liz Wexler opened the second half with an outside shot and a layup.
Wilson scored a pair of layups for Wamogo, one on a great pass from Kelly.
Then the Gilbert press caught up with Wamogo again. The third quarter finished with a 44-20 bulge and the Yellowjackets were out of sight.
“We’ll come around,” said Crowley, intent on working out his players’ roles.
Hicks fans the hustle while continuing to tweak the offense to set the 5-2 Wexler free.
Gilbert 51, Wamogo 30
At The Gilbert School
Wamogo 11 3 6 10 – 30
Gilbert 12 15 17 7 – 51
Wamogo (30): Emily Kupcho 0-1-1; Rose Kelly 1-3-5; Morgan Betti 1-1-3; Olivia Cook 2-0-4; Christina Roy 1-1-3; Casey Bovat 0-0-0; Jada Barger 0-2-2; Cassidy Wilson 6-0-12; Samantha Silvester 0-0-0; Totals: 11-8-30.
Gilbert (51): Grace Valickis 3-0-7; Liz Wexler 8-2-21; Skye Smith 0-0-0; Angie Delacruz 1-0-2; Jill Wexler 4-0-9; Dilleysi Sarmiento 0-0-0; Hannah Crowley 0-0-0; Deanna Delacruz 2-0-6; Ali Brochu 2-0-4; Mary Ellen Marino 1-0-2; Totals: 21-4-51.
Half-time score: 27-14 Gilbert
3-point goals: G – Valickis; L. Wexler 3; J. Wexler.
Records: Wamogo 0-4; Gilbert 3-2.