(Monroe CT) A strong second half enabled Kolbe-Cathedral to defeat Masuk, 64-50, on Friday night at Masuk.
The Cougars (7-7) trailed by nine (33-24) at the half but poured in forty points in the second half to win going away.
The two teams had met on January second at Bridgeport with the Cougars rallying to win by a point (68-67). KC had been down by ten in that one but came back, as they did in this one, to get the victory.
Chiniki Fils (17 points) led all scorers and collected twelve of her points in the 4th quarter. Masuk had no defensive answers for her around the basket.
When Chiniki went to the bench with her third foul with 4:44 left in the second quarter the Cougars trailed by a point (18-16). The Panthers, led by freshman Callie Engle, dominated the rest of the second period and led, 33-24, at the half.
Masuk (6-9) full-court pressure was working (15 KC turnovers) and the home team was able get high percentage shots in close.
All that changed in the second half.
Kolbe started and ended the third quarter with six unanswered points forcing turnovers and getting to the basket. Freshman Trinity Bravo (14 points) had several steals, baskets, and assists while Masuk suffered through a 4-point quarter.
Panthers coach Alyssa Laczkoski lit into her team after the disastrous third but things didn’t get better. Kolbe put eight straight together on three layups and a rebound basket to get up by nine (48-39) with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game. Jana Migliaro later his three free throws to get Masuk within five (51-46) with 4+ minutes left. Time was there to finish the comeback but Chiniki Fils had five free throws and two layups the rest of the way to seal it for Kolbe-Cathedral.
The Cougars won their third straight despite missing seventeen free throws (16-for-33).
Masuk ended up with twenty-six turnovers. Many of the miscues led to immediate KC baskets.
Callie Engle had eight points in the second quarter for Masuk.
Jana Migliaro (11 points) made one three despite numerous attempts. Coaches on the KC bench were yelling “Shooter” every time the senior co-captain touched the ball.
Senior Nia Fogle and freshman Trinity Bravo both had fourteen points for the Cougars.
Masuk hadn’t played in a week. That was why I was surprised at how well they played in the first half.
Pressure works so much better when it gets set up after a made shot.
Masuk has lost four of their last five games.
Next for Masuk is a trip to Brookfield on Tuesday. The Panthers won the previous meeting at home.
The Cougars will be hosting Joel Barlow on Monday.
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