Chieftains searching for vaccine after turnover bug bites.
BOLTON - If the Nashoba Regional High School girls basketball team can take any consolation from Tuesday night's Nashoba Invitational consolation game, it would have to be in the area of defense.
After giving up 19 points in the first quarter, the Chieftains clamped down on defense, and ended up holding Algonquin to 45 points overall.
However, Nashoba's turnover-filled offensive effort doomed it to a loss. The Chieftains gave the ball away 35 times, including 20 turnovers in the first half, while falling 45-22 to the Tomahawks.
"We were just throwing the ball everywhere," Nashoba coach Gary Kozloski said. "The only persons we didn't throw the ball to were the referees.
"We're better than that," he said. "Toward the end, when we were actually calling different plays, they looked good. We ran a couple plays and got a couple of easy layups. They proved they can do it."
Coupled with last Thursday's 41-39 loss to Oakmont in the first round of the Invitational, held at the school's gym, the Chieftains are 0-2 on the season. Algonquin, which fell 57-54 to Groton-Dunstable in its opener, improved to 1-1.
Algonquin senior Theresa Logan led all scorers on Tuesday night with 14 points. She was the only player in double figures on either team.
Senior Rebecca Krantz was the high scorer for the Chieftains with seven points, and senior Jen Harding added six. Also putting points on the board for Nashoba were senior captain Kelly Macko, junior Camille Ahearn, and senior captain Colleen Frost.
Frost was a defensive force, pulling down 11 rebounds, forcing several jump balls, and notching a steal.
"Colleen (Frost) hustles," Kozloski said. "She doesn't take a play off. We're going to play people who hustle."
Algonquin senior Jennifer Ballen drained a pair of early 3-pointers to put her team up 6-0 before Krantz put the Chieftains on the board with a put-back. Logan and Harding traded hoops, making the score 8-4, but then the Tomahawks went on an 11-0 run to take control of the game.
Harding took a pass from senior captain Laura Millet and nailed an eight-foot jumper with 1:15 left in the first frame, but Nashoba trailed 19-6 at the end of the period.
The Chieftains held Algonquin to 21 points total over the next two quarters, and gave up a measly five points in the closer, but the damage had been done. The turnovers kept coming, and Nashoba was unable to close the gap.
"Turnovers killed us," Kozloski reiterated. "You can't turn the ball over that many times."
Fouls were not a factor in the game. Each team only went to the line three times all night, with Nashoba making 2 of 6 shots and Algonquin canning 3 of 5.
Harding scored 13 points in last Thursday night's game against Oakmont, and Macko and Krantz each contributed eight. Senior Janelle MacLaughlin, Millet, and Frost also put the ball in the net for the Chieftains.
Sally Leger had 13 points for the Spartans, and Colleen Doherty had 12.
Nashoba was 10 of 20 from the free throw line, and Oakmont was 5 of 8.
"I wasn't that disappointed the other night," Kozloski said. "We played pretty well. We had a shot to win it at the end. We just lost that one.
"It was a great effort," he said.
CUTLINE: (1) Nashoba Regional senior Colleen Frost controls the ball near midcourt on Tuesday night. (2) Chieftain senior Laura Millet gets triple-teamed during her team's game with Algonquin. (3) Nashoba junior Zoe Gregerson drives with the ball.
PHOTOG: Item photos/GRAHAM ENTWISTLE