Haverhill Hillies Girls Basketball '20-'21

Tue, Jan 26, 2021 05:30 PM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Dracut 13 13 14 20 60
Haverhill 13 20 10 8 51

Phiri scores 39 in loss

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HAVERHILL — Two things were obvious for the few fortunate enough to watch Haverhill's 60-51 home loss to Dracut Tuesday night.

First, freshman Colleen Phiri, who is the sister of former Hillies' standout Saul Phiri, is one heck of a player who already plays like a seasoned upperclassman.

Second, for Haverhill (1-4) to be successful, Phiri's young teammates (6 freshmen, 4 sophomores, 2 juniors, 1 senior) need to mature and catch up with her at least a little.

To start with the positive, Phiri's talents were on full display as she poured in a career-high and area season high 39 points while pulling down a whopping 20 rebounds. The 5-foot-11 standout had one 3-pointer, barely missed two others and showed relentless moves to the basket.

And, said Haverhill coach Melissa Tarpy, she could have scored a bit more, but her free throw shooting (12 of 20) was a bit off, at least for her.

"Colleen can do it all as she showed," said Tarpy. "She has a great touch from the outside, she really drives to the basket and she's a smart player. And what makes her really tough to hold down is that she's an excellent free throw shooter.

"She doesn't usually miss that many. She came into the game hitting like 86% of her free throws."

Phiri's value to the team was more than obvious throughout, but particularly when she came out for two brief one-minute stretches in the second half during which Dracut outscored the Hillies 8-0.

In the first half alone, Phiri had 23 points and 10 rebounds, which is largely why Haverhill led 33-26 at halftime. When she scored on a 3-point play to open the second half, the Hillies seemed to have a comfortable 10-point lead.

But it was all downhill from there as a flood of turnovers, mainly due to a full court press, doomed Haverhill the rest of the way. Dracut pulled to within three, 43-40, to open the final frame and then dominated the fourth quarter.

The Hillies committed 36 turnovers for the game, including 11 in the fourth quarter.

"It's a little frustrating because it happens to us every game," said Phiri. "We just have to get better chemistry. But I'm confident in the future. This is the first time we've been together."

Regarding her current scoring prowess, Phili said: "I thought I'd be able to score and I knew I had to step up because a lot of kids left the team."

Indeed, nine returning players opted out of the season due to coronavirus, leaving Haverhill with just 13 mostly inexperienced players. There isn't enough to even field a JV team.

"We have such a young team, and we don't have a true point guard" said Tarpy. "We have spurts when we play pretty well, but we need to be more consistent. It's going to take awhile, but we can't make that many turnovers."

Those turnovers will overcome whatever Phiri can contribute to the cause which right now, is substantial but not enough.  









Game Statistics:

Dracut (60): Fevre 2-0-4, Zolkos 1-1-3, Talbot 3-1-9, Gannon 4-3-11, Murphy 3-1-7, Watkins 4-6-14, Matte 2-1-5, Sancartier 2-0-4, Felker 1-0-3. Totals 22-13-60

Haverhill (51): Cerasuolo 1-0-2, Phiri 13-12-39, Spencer 0-0-0, Laffey 0-0-0, Burdier 2-0-4, Eason 0-0-0, Cortes 1-0-3, Phillips 2-1-5. Totals 19-13-51

3-pointers: D — Talbot 2 Sancartier; H — Phiri

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