(Monroe) Undefeated Trumbull (7-0) defeated Masuk (5-3) in the 30th Annual Masuk Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament, 43-40, on Friday night.
This game provided plenty for both sides to cheer about and it wasn’t until Michelle Wu’s last-ditch, 3-point attempt missed that this one was settled.
The Eagles started strong and were up by eleven (24-13) two minutes into the second quarter. The Panthers rallied all the way back keyed by consecutive treys by Thomese Holman and grabbed a 33-30 lead two minutes into the final period.
A Danielle Adams shot on an inbounds play pushed Masuk further ahead, 38-34, with 4:20 to go.
The rest of the way Alexa Pfohl put on a performance that rightly earned her tourney MVP. While Masuk couldn’t buy a basket over the next four minutes, the Eagle junior had a hand in all nine Trumbull points during the same time frame.
After several teammate missed shots, Alexa put in a rebound (Trumbull trails 38-36). Then she assisted on Dani McGillicuddy’s layup (score tied at 38-38). Then she drilled a three from the right (Trumbull leads 41-38).
Her next basket was the killer for Masuk. The Eagles had been killing the clock for a minute plus after Trumbull had gotten the lead. The Panthers forced the ball out of bounds with twenty-seven seconds left down by three. The play for Masuk, from in front of the scorer’s table, was to either steal the inbounds pass or foul the pass receiver. You had to assume that Trumbull would play it safe and try to get the inbounds pass into the hands of their best free throw shooter probably in the backcourt. Instead, while her teammates stayed at midcourt, Alexa broke for the basket and was totally unguarded. She was so clear that no Panther had a chance to foul her as she attempted the layup.
That basket gave Trumbull a five-point spread (43-38) with twenty-two seconds left. Michelle Wu answered with a layup of her own but there just wasn’t enough time after that for Michelle to get a better look at that final 3-point attempt.
Michelle Wu (19 points) was very impressive – quick, smooth, and athletic. She scored eleven in the 3rd when Masuk recovered from the 11-point deficit. I thought early on that she was too unselfish opting to pass rather than take the ball to the basket.
The three Pfohl sisters started and all of them can play. I liked their toughness.
Note my picture of Thomese Holman about to shoot from the corner. In the stands behind her is Christian Terrell who drilled several long ones from the same area the night before against Norwalk.
(The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.)