The biggest challenge facing the Bridgewater-Raynham girls’ basketball team this season has been forging an identity.
After losing two senior starters — Duke-bound forward Shay Bollin and point guard Amber Silva — to knee surgeries before the season, the Trojans were left wondering who would emerge as their go-to player.
“What is our identity going to be?” mused B-R coach Cheryl Seavey. “Who is going to take ownership when the game is tight and have those key moments? That was really the challenge.”
The 11th-ranked Trojans might have found an answer Wednesday night in a 49-44 nonconference win over No. 2 St. Mary’s in Bridgewater.
Sophomore forward Natalia Hall-Rosa scored nine of B-R’s final 19 points as the Trojans (7-2) extended a one-point lead late in the third quarter to double digits in the fourth.
Hall-Rosa credited patience for her late-game shotmaking, which included a bunny and a 3-pointer late in the third, a layup early in the fourth that pushed the lead to 10 and a jumper with 1:49 left that made it an eight-point game.
“Just slowing it down and pulling it out,” she said. “If I’m driving and they close it up, just pull it out and look at the floor and see who is open. Keep cutting and keep moving.”
Using a tight spin move, a smooth pull-up jumper, and her ability to put the ball on the floor with either hand, Hall-Rosa finished with a team-high 16 points, adding 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
“When she is that determined self, I think there’s very few kids who can compete with her assortment of offensive moves,” Seavey said.
Before her strong finish, Hall-Rosa helped stake the Trojans to an 18-3 first-quarter lead with seven early points.
“In the first quarter we gave some blows, but we knew they were going to come back,” said Seavey. “They weren’t going to lay down on us.”
St. Mary’s (12-2) rallied in the second quarter when it started finding driving lanes against B-R’s zone defense and eschewed the 3-pointer after an 0-for-8 showing in the first quarter. Led by junior guard Yirsy Queliz (game-high 21 points), the Spartans rode a 17-6 run in the second quarter to close to 26-22 at halftime, before eventually pulling within one, 32-31, on Queliz’s 3-pointer with 2:07 left in the third.
B-R answered with an 11-2 spurt as St. Mary’s missed 10 of its first 11 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter. The Spartans finished the game 7-of-32 (21.9 percent) from distance while shooting 25.9 percent (14-of-54) overall.
That the Trojans went with a 3-2 zone from the outset was surprising for a team usually committed to man-to-man defense.
“I have to give credit where credit is due, [assistant] coach [John] Gallagher came up with the strategy, we practiced it for one day, that being yesterday, and we implemented it,” Seavey said.
“We felt really comfortable,” Hall-Rosa said. “Although we didn’t practice it that much, we were all rotating. It was rough at first, but we all got on the same page and started working well.”
St. Mary’s junior guard Kellyn Preira finished with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. Senior point guard Dana Possick added 14 points and four rebounds for the Trojans, who got six offensive boards from Ashley Jacques.
Amesbury 54, Wilmington 40 — Avery Hallinan put up 32 points to lead Amesbury (9-2) to a nonleague victory against the Wildcats.
Beaver Country Day 56, Governor’s Academy 41 — Jesse Silk (17 points) and Oralye Kiefer (17 points) secured the nonleague win for BCD (5-0) over Govs. Fiona Neilon and Anique St. Laurent were also key contributors.
Blue Hills 59, Bristol-Plymouth 41 — Bridget Devine (20 points), Kathleen Murphy (15 points) and Bella Sulfaro (11 points) propelled the Warriors (6-6) to a Mayflower win against the Craftsmen.
Cardinal Spellman 45, Martha’s Vineyard 35 — Senior captain Mairead Gallagher (15 points) led the Cardinals (3-6) to a nonleague victory over the Vineyarders.
East Bridgewater 63, Sharon 46 — Sophie Bradbury tossed in 18 points, Haley Murphy contributed 16 points and Phoebe Kalitus had 11 points with 9 rebounds to propel the Lady Vikings (7-1) to the nonleague win.
Notre Dame (Hingham) 47, Fontbonne 29 — Freshman Ava Orlando (15 points, 6 assists), eighth grader Elle Orlando (14 points) and senior Ava Foley (11 points, 12 rebounds) led the Cougars (3-5) to a Catholic Conference victory over the Ducks.
Sandwich 67, Nantucket 38 — Madison Lawrence (18 points), Sierra Brigham (18 points) and Ryann Cobban (12 points) guided the Blue Knights (6-2, 4-0) to the Cape & Islands victory against the Whalers.
Somerset Berkley 51, Greater New Bedford 41 — Bella Nugent (15 points) and Allie Powers (12 points) led the Blue Raiders (5-4) to the South Coast Conference win.
Woburn 52, Wellesley 28 — Cyndea Labissiere scored a game-high 19 points as the No. 8 Tanners (9-0) rolled to the nonleague win.
Beverly 82, Lynn Classical 48 — Dylan Crowley paved the way with 24 points and Rook Landman contributed 15 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds for the No. 10 Panthers (9-0) in the nonleague win.
Diman 76, Tri-County 42 — Senior Colby Tetrault (16 points) led the Bengals (2-8) to a Mayflower League victory over the Cougars.
Pembroke 70, Whitman-Hanson 69 — Junior Brady Spencer delivered 30 points, Joey Dwyer had 15, and Connor Lockhart tossed in 13 along with a game-clinching steal as the No. 11 Titans (10-0) outlasted the visiting Panthers (6-4) in overtime for the Patriot League win. Coach Matt Vincenzi called Spencer “the best player in the league” who has just had “the best game of his career.”
Portsmouth Abbey 55, Concord Academy 44 — Junior Bernard Dushie totaled 12 points and 21 rebounds, and sophomore Charlie Townsend (13 points, 3 steals, 3 assists) paced Portsmouth Abbey (6-2) to an Eastern Independent League victory.
St. John Paul II 68, Atlantis Charter 36 — Richie Marchand (16 points) and Zane Thomas (12 points) led the host Lions (4-3) to the nonleague win.
Stoughton 72, Weymouth 61 — Connor Andrews (24 points), Rayan Sablon (19), and Matt Greenspoon (11) led the Blackhawks (4-4) to the nonleague win.
St. John’s Prep 57, Xaverian 18 — Braedon Goes (106 pounds), Alec Schaeublin (113), Elias Hajali (120), Tyler Knox (126), Adam Schaeublin (132), Victor Mejias (138), Rawson Iwanicki (152), Zach Richardson (182), Jack Blizard (220), and Charlie Smith (285) all picked up wins for the host Eagles (24-0) in the Catholic Conference matchup.
Whitman-Hanson 47, Marshfield 27 — Sophomore Austin Gamber (145 pounds) pinned his 10th opponent of the season in 40 seconds for the Panthers (8-2), extending his record to 13-2.
Robert ‘Doc’ Furey, who directed the Concord-Carlisle girls’ tennis program to 11 MIAA titles since 2004, and four straight from 2011-2015, is stepping down immediately. In approximately 40 years as a social studies teacher at C-C, he was a three-season coach. Furey was coach of the Patriots’ combined alpine and nordic ski team for 20 seasons before they split into two sports. Then he led the alpine for two decades and also coached the freshman boys’ soccer team. Incredibly, according to AD Aaron Joncas, Furey never had a losing season.
Sarah Barber, Ethan McDowell, Joseph Pohoryles, and Vitoria Pojoe contributed to this story. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email email@example.com. Tweet scores @GlobeSchools.