By Lorenzo Recupero
What shaped-up to be a promising MIAA Division 1 North Girls opening round basketball contest quickly turned into a game of catch-up for the Crimson Tide, who could never gain their footing or any ground in a tough, 78-45, home defeat to visiting Beverly.
The eight-seed Tide (13-8) raced out to a quick 6-0 lead in just over a minute into the game, but the fast start only dazed a determined ninth-seeded Beverly team that posted 11 unanswered points to take the lead before Everett head coach Tammy Turner was forced to call a timeout.
With just minutes to go in the first quarter the Tide were able to pull within one point following a 3-point play by sophomore Maddy Duraes, but that was the closest they would come to catching the Panthers (14-7) who never relinquished the lead after entering halftime with a commanding 39-22 lead.
The disappointing loss, a stark contrast from the teams gritty, 65-58, victory over Beverly in early February, was not an issue of talent or ability but the lack of something just as important, according to coach Tammy Turner.
“We didn’t play defense,” said Turner, explaining what went wrong for her team. “We actually knew that they liked to push it and they try to get it on the wing, and we’ve been practicing for three days now to deny that pass and we know #20 [for Beverly] is their big scorer, so we looked at a few different ways to stop her and we didn’t step up and stop her,” said Turner, who watched her team surrender their highest point total of the season.
In almost fitting fashion, the final basket of the season for the Crimson Tide came on a vintage drive to the hoop by the team’s leading scorer Yasmeen Guerrier. She shifted past two Beverly defenders with her dribble before smoothly laying-in he final two points of her career.
The senior became just the third 1,000 plus point scorer in Everett girls’ basketball history during her time on the court. She’s also the only player in the successful coaching career of Tammy Turner to reach the milestone, leaving a special mark on the season, playoff win or not.
“She’s actually been working hard on and off the season, definitely trying to get her shot down, so she’s very deserving,” said Turner, who was visibly emotional. “She’s definitely been for I would say three years now our leading scorer, it’s going to big shoes to fill next year.”