In terms of their results on the court, Malden High’s Girls Basketball team has not had the best of seasons. After three starters graduated last year, in addition to other key players, this has proved to be rebuilding season for the team. With the personal and strategic change the team has had to adopt this year, they have found it difficult to produce on both ends of the court.

At the start of the season, head coach, Scott Marino, was aware that because of the personnel changes on the team, they would have to look for different ways to play on the court. Marino mentioned that “this year, [they] are not as offensively gifted as [they] were a year ago, and [they] have to find different ways to score points.”

Because of this, Marino decided to switch up from the zone defense they were playing to a man defense that focuses on pressing opponents to create turnovers and fast break opportunities.

The team began the year with a 45-35 victory against Madison Park, where using their new pressing strategy allowed them to create numerous turnovers that helped them get extra possessions and therefore score easy points on the game.

However, after their opening night victory, the team has been unable to pick up any more victories throughout the season. Although not for a lack of trying, the team has fallen short on both the offensive and defensive end.    

On the 29th of January, the team hosted Lynn Classical at the MHS Finn Gymnasium.

The game began as an intense affair with the scoreboard very close to each other at the start. Senior Salma Bezzat, who is also one of the co-captains of the team, converted a three-pointer to give Malden a 5-4 lead early in the first period.

As the game went on, the pressure on the Golden Tornadoes was at a high point after Lynn Classical scored two straight layups in quick succession and went on 10-0 run to take the lead at 14-5. At the end of the first quarter, the team was frustrated as Lynn Classical was able to build quite a comfortable lead of 21-7 and carry that into the second quarter where they extended that lead to 29-7.

Nevaeh Cherilus covers and blocks the opposing team from passing.
Photo by Brandon Wong

However, despite the lopsided scoreline, the fight wasn’t over as Malden was eager to continue giving it their all. In the second half, the Tornadoes were finally able to get their offense going and start knocking down some shots. Their offensive breakthrough energized the home crowd and the rest of the team. Their second-half performance may have been a consultation for what ultimately turned out to be a lopsided affair which ended in Lynn Classical winning 54-24.

After the game, Bezzat expressed her frustrations with the game stating that “they need to work on both defense and offense and communication is key but [they] are avoiding it.” She continued to say that “[they] need to slow the game down and not [turn the ball over” so many times.

Junior Meley Ephrem with Bezzat, stating that “If [they] took [their] time, [they] would’ve at least had a better outcome. She explained that “[they] could’ve done better but their defense was hurting” the rest of their performance.

Scott Marino concluded that “the girls give us everything they have and as a coach, that’s all [he] can ask for.”

The team, as of February 5th, has four games left in the season, one of which is a rematch against Madison Park on February 13th, the team that the Tornadoes defeated in their opening game. The girls hope to end their season on a high note and continue to build for the future.

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