LAWRENCE — The Catholic Central girls looked anything like the state final four contenders they most certainly are while scoring only three fourth-quarter points Friday against rival Andover.
That poor finish, however, might have provided the inspiration for yesterday’s tremendous start.
Central jumped to a 24-point first-quarter lead in its Coaches vs. Cancer affair against visiting Cambridge Rindge & Latin en route to a 75-28 cakewalk.
“If you don’t learn from your experiences, then I’m not a very good coach,” Central’s Sue Downer said after her squad upped its record to 10-3 and clinched a postseason berth. “You’ve got to take what we didn’t do well in that situation (against Andover) and try to figure out how to do things better. And we did a lot of work with that (in practice Saturday).
“Obviously (yesterday’s opponent) was a different level of competition, so that made it a little easier.”
The visiting Falcons (7-4) were overmatched from the start as Central scored the game’s first nine points and led 26-2 after the first. The Raiders eventually built a 45-point advantage on a free throw by Amanda Williams that put Central ahead 55-10 with 4:45 left in the third.
The biggest lead of the night came with 1 minute remaining when Natasha Santana’s driving bucket made the score 75-26.
Central now has less than a month left before opening postseason play. And both Downer and her troops will be looking for improvements.
“One of the things we’ll have to do better is rebounding,” Downer said. “We have to do a better job on the boards. We also know we have to value the basketball better and eliminate some turnovers.
“But we also need to come together as a team. I think that’s one thing we’ve been focusing on: assessing what’s a good situation and what’s a bad situation, what is my role and what should I be doing? I think we’re in a good spot to move forward.”