Meghan Fornaro takes a layup. Don Cote photo.
Text by Steev Riccardo
DUDLEY - Meghan Fornaro put on a show for the ages this past Saturday night, scoring a career high 42 points while leading the Shepherd Hill Rams past the North Middlesex Patriots 77-63 in a Division 1 playoff contest.
The senior star and career 1000-point scorer playing in her last home game knocked down 8 three-pointers while setting the table for a semi-final district game with Holy Name this Thursday night at Clark University.
Fornaro set the pace early with 13 first quarter points and a couple of great plays, diving for loose balls in leading the Rams to a 22-8 lead after one quarter. At one point Fornaro came to the bench to get treatment for a banged up arm but was back on the court in less than a minute.
Junior Taylor Daniels hit a pair of shots, while sophomore Brooke Packard and junior Christina Gauvin each hit three-point shots to keep the Rams lead at 14 at the half, 44-30.
Fornaro took control of the game in the third quarter. The Patriots cut the Rams’ lead to 9 at one point, but the senior put on a long range shooting clinic, hitting three bombs to keep her team in control as they led 62-48 after three quarters.
It was clear sailing for the Rams in the fourth quarter as they maintained their fourteen-point lead and were on their way to a semi-final rematch with Holy Name.
Shepherd Hill Girls Basketball Coach Jim Hackenson praised the play of Fornaro. “It was her night, her last game her at Shepherd Hill, she has been with us for four years, 1,000 point scorer and you can see where they come from. She is a floor general, she runs the show, and she is a stabilizer. When the other team starts to have a comeback, she calms people down on the court”.
“When they cut it to within 9, she took a look over at me and then she takes charge. She is a tremendous ball player and a tremendous leader,” said Hackenson.
The veteran coach was pleased with his team’s overall play. “Tonight we were on fire. We were putting them in off the glass tonight, for crying out loud. I thought our defense was pretty good, we went man to man, then we trapped. I think we did some things out there that took them away from their game. I also thought our transition game was good, we set some nice screens and found the open shots.”
Fornaro was ecstatic afterwards when asked if this was her best performance in her Shepherd Hill career. “Yes that was my best performance and I didn’t even know that I had 42, people are telling me now and I am like wow. everything I put up went in and I was going with it.”
“I don’t usually take that many three pointers but I was open and I was taking them and I was on.” said Fornaro who usually scores a lot of baskets going to the hoop.
The senior star had a lot of praise for her teammates as they prepare to go deeper into the playoffs. “Last year was our rebuilding year and we came together as a team, we have come a long way, we are playing our best basketball right now. We are working well as a team and hopefully we can carry this into the semi-s (against Holy Name).”
Along with Fornaro’s career night, the Rams also received solid performances from Packard, who added 5 points and some great defensive play, and Daniels, who finished with 11 points. Racicot and Christina Gauvin also came off the bench and made some excellent contributions with 6 points apiece.
The Rams have fallen to Holy Name twice this season but Fornaro is optimistic about their chances on Thursday. “We have seen them twice already and we are hoping that the third time is the charm. We came close against them, one of the games we were up at the half; we can beat them.”
If Fornaro and her team play like they did Saturday night, they can probably beat anyone.
Johanna L’Heureux (23) blocks a shot. Don Cote photo.
Brooke Packard (12) drives by Emily Church (31). Don Cote photo.
Taylor Daniels battling for a loose ball. Don Cote photo.
Christina Gauvin (20) drives to the hoop. Don Cote photo.
- Sunday, 04 March 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports