HAMPDEN – The scoreboard told the story in Oakland Friday night, as the visiting team shutdown the defending Class A state champions in major style.
“I don’t think any of us were expecting that,” Hampden Academy girls basketball coach Nick Winchester said Monday.
Winchester is referring to his team’s 67-29 win over Messalonskee to start the year, an elite defensive performance from the Broncos headlined by some quality individual performances as well. The Broncos debuted their new man-to-man half-court trap, flustering the Eagles on their home floor. The new defense is a product of Winchester, and the players have taken to it.
“Just talking through things, you know where your players are,” forward Brooklynn Scott said of the defense, giving her approval. “You can help each other out, really just try to stop the ball”
Her teammates agreed with the sentiment.
“I think with Coach Winchester, that was just something he really wanted us to improve on. That has been marvelous,” center Bailey Donovan said of the new defense.
“I think it’s really important,” guard Alydia Brillant added. “We need to learn and go on to play really good defense, because that’s how we’ll win games, playing better defense.”
Winchester said if this is the highlight of the Broncos season, they haven’t done their job preparing for what’s ahead. Still, a blowout win over a quality opponent certainly will put the Broncos in the early conversation for top dog in Class A North, long before the tourney kicks off.
“I don’t think we knew what to expect,” he said. “We really hadn’t had a game like that. And for us to come out and play like that on that night against that team, it just sets the stage for us to be able to accomplish some really good things.”