LITCHFIELD >> Litchfield High School’s 49-33 win over Wamogo (2-8; 2-7 Berkshire League) Thursday night was resounding enough to make the Cowgirls (3-8; 2-8 BL) and their fans believe they can use the battle for Litchfield as a launching pad for better things in the second half of their Berkshire League schedule.
“We said we’re going to treat the second half as a new season,” said Litchfield coach Jessica Zenowitz. “We’re young, so now that they’ve been kicked around for half a season, they know what to do.”
And, like most rivalry games, there’s no better place to start than against the Cowgirls’ cross-town frienemies, the Warriors.
“The school gets in the spirit and all the fans come out,” grinned Tara Shakley, one of just three seniors on Litchfield’s team.
“We had more adrenaline tonight than usual,” said sophomore center Elena Kennedy.
The occassion and the fans started the adrenaline; effective full-court pressure sent it through the Cowgirls’ roof.
Led by Shakley and Kennedy, each with 14 points, Litchfield dominated from beginning to end.
Shakley, a big guard, stayed on Wamogo’s point guard, sophomore Brooke Neller (game-high 15 points), disrupting the Warrior passing lanes.
Kennedy, a quick 5-10 center, rejected shot after shot underneath.
“Litchfield played an awesome game,” said Wamogo coach Kevin Crowley. “They played a very effective 1-3-1. We didn’t attack it.”
Litchfield’s Shelby Elwell scored the game’s first points on a pair of foul shots a minute-and-a-half into the game.
Wamogo was the first to try out a press. The Cowgirls shredded it with passes over the top to Kennedy or another target stationed just beyond half-court.
“Jess (Zenowitz) had them ready,” said Coach Crowley.
The Cowgirls built a 12-4 lead behind six points and two steals from Shakley.
Then it got worse for the Warriors as Litchfield set its own press full court.
In the second quarter, Wamogo’s press was lifted; Litchfield’s clamped down.
Steals by Zoe Weik, two by Kennedy and another by Shakley made life miserable for Wamogo.
The Cowgirls led 28-11 by the half.
Wamogo’s Neller sparked a Warrior uprising in the second half, but Litchfield has its sights on bigger goals.
The lead was 41-22 after three quarters.
The Cowgirls were on their way.
Litchfield 49, Wamogo 33
At Litchfield High School
Wamogo 4 7 11 11—33
Litchfield 12 16 13 8—49
Wamogo (33): Brooke Neller 6-3-15; Jane Fischer 0-0-0; Emma Caldwell 0-0-0; Hailey Squatriglia 0-2-2; Christine Jasonis 0-1-1; Amber Hine 0-0-0; Megan McElhone 1-0-2; Emily Kupcho 2-1-5; Alizabeth Stack 0-2-2; Damielle Tillman 1-2-4; Totals: 10-13-33.
Litchfield (49): Shelby Elwell 1-3-5; Sophie MacDonald 3-0-6; Sam Foley 1-0-2; Tara Shakley 6-2-14; Zoe Weik 2-0-4; Emily Dragan 0-4-4; Elena Kennedy 6-2-14; Maddie O’Neill 0-0-0; Totals: 19-11-49.
Records: Wamogo 2-8 (2-7 Berkshire League); Litchfield 3-8 (2-8 Berkshire League)