WOONSOCKET — When the first half finished, Tammy Drape crouched down and just stared at the court for about 30 seconds. If the court was made of dirt, the Tolman High coach would have probably dug a hole and buried herself inside.
It was that frustrating.
The Tigers picked the wrong time to have one of their worst offensive showings of the season. Facing first-place Mount St. Charles Academy on Monday night, Tolman went into a massive scoring drought in the initial half and could never quite recover as the Mounties rolled to a 43-28 rout in their Division II-North contest.
The Tigers shot just 10 percent (3-for-19) from the field in the first half and trailed by a convincing 22-5 margin. Drape’s squad played slightly better in the second half, but the damage was already done.
“We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” said the Tolman coach. “Our defense was there, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket.”
The Mounties received a balanced scoring attack spurred by a pair of double-double efforts from senior Alyssa Rossi and freshman Noreen Mulledy. Both players scored a team-best 10 points with Rossi also grabbing 14 rebounds and Mulledy registering 10 boards. Senior Adrianna Maurano netted eight points and senior Maria Saia added seven.
Mount remained red-hot for the season. After dropping a 41-36 overtime decision to Johnston in their league opener on Dec. 9, the Mounties have won 10 straight games and are the recipients of the best record in the entire league with a 10-1 mark.
“I have a lot of supporting players that have been stepping up and playing,” said MSC coach Nina Morey. “The scoring has been spread out among the players. Every night someone different is sharing the spotlight and everybody has been contributing a little.”
The Mounties did a very good job of controlling the boards on Monday, outrebounding the Tigers by nearly double with a 47-to-25 advantage. And while it wasn’t quite shooting the lights out inside its gymnasium (only 15-for-53 from the field), Mount demonstrated a strong passing game and did its part to frustrate the Tigers with its defense.
“Today was one of the better games we played, probably better all-around game and better complete game that we played all season,” Morey said. “We have been playing good one half and not as good in the second half or vice versa. Today, they came out strong in the first half and had excellent defense to hold Tolman to five points. They were then able to maintain that intensity in the second half, which was good.”
For Tolman, now 7-6 in the league, the setback was their second straight. On Friday, Johnston snapped the Tigers’ modest three-game win streak with a 56-33 bashing.
Tolman had a game-high 11 points from Jenna Ayala. Dania Porter added eight.
“As a coach, you just go back to practice and move on,” Drape said. “It’s a lesson learned, but I thought defensively we played okay. We’ll go back to work tomorrow.”
Tolman will try to get back on track this Wednesday when it travels to Moses Brown for a 6:30 p.m. matchup. The Mounties bus down to Scituate, a squad that always plays them tough, also on Wednesday, beginning at 7 p.m.
“We always have a difficult game with Scituate,” said Morey, whose squad defeated the Warriors, 49-30, on Jan. 4. “Hopefully, we’ll go there and play well.”