By Jimmy Zanor
@ShoreLineSports on Twitter
EAST HAMPTON >> East Hampton sophomores Sarah Massie and Meghan Orbann keyed a pair of 17-2 runs and the host Bellringers rolled past Hale-Ray, 52-30, in a Shoreline Conference girls basketball contest Thursday night.
Massie finished with a game-high 13 points, while Orbann collected 12 points, four rebounds and four assists.
East Hampton also defeated the Noises, 46-44, in Moodus on Jan. 7.
“The first time around we had a big lead at halftime and (Hale-Ray) made a heck’uva comeback and really put some pressure on us late and we were able to hang on,” said East Hampton coach Shaun Russell. “Tonight I thought our focus was better. Our defensive pressure over the course of the game was solid enough to get the game at the tempo where we wanted it.”
The Noises enjoyed an early 8-6 lead before the Bellringers took control with a 17-2 spurt. Freshman Gyanna Russell, who gave East Hampton a spark off the bench with nine points, sank a top-of-the-key 3-pointer and the Bellringers led 18-8 midway through the second quarter.
The lead ballooned to 23-10 after a steal and layup from Orbann.
“It was a little hectic and we got flustered by their press to begin with,” said Hale-Ray coach Jenna Schall. “Once we kind of figured it out we were getting good looks but they were dominating us on the boards. They were holding us to one shot and done so we need to do a better job on the offensive boards to give us more opportunities.”
Noises sophomore Nicole Dombroski (four points) opened the second half by converting a jumper in the paint as Hale-Ray closed the gap to 25-17.
But Orbann found Massie for a hoop, sophomore Morgan Slossberg sank a pair of free throws, and Massie drained a 3-pointer and the Bellringers were off and running again on a 17-2 run.
A pair of free throws from senior center Megan Close gave East Hampton a 42-19 advantage with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
“What I was most pleased with tonight was our response and our poise,” said Russell. “They made a few runs at us and we responded well. We forced them to guard the whole half court and had enough touches in the paint to keep them honest. I thought we were real aggressive to the rim all night.”
The Bellringers made 19 of 26 free throws, including 12 straight, while the Noises were just 5 of 9 from the free throw line.
Sophomore guard Renee Radavich had eight points for East Hampton (10-4), which sits in first place in the Shoreline Conference’s Small Division.
Noises junior guard Emily Traceski had eight points, three rebounds and two assists, while senior forward Jessica Dombroski added six points.
Hale-Ray, which fell to 4-11, needs four wins in its last five games to qualify for the state tournament.
“We’ve got Hyde on Monday and that will be another nice battle,” said Schall, now in her third season. “Hopefully, we can capitalize on that and get one step closer to states. We definitely can make it. We just have to play hard, work together and we’ll be alright.”