by Steev Riccardo
DUDLEY – The backcourt duo of senior co-captain Tina Gauvin and junior Brooke Packard each scored 13 points, combining for seven three pointers, to lead the Shepherd Hill Rams by the Millbury Woolies 50-23 in their home opener Thursday (December 13).
The Rams got off to a quick start as Gauvin, Packard and junior forward Dominique Woods all connected on three pointers that led to a 15-11 first quarter lead.
The outstanding long distance shooting continued through the second quarter and Packard and Gauvin each connected on a pair of three-pointers, but it was the stingy Rams defense that kept the Woolies intact.
The Rams defense allowed only one Woolies field goal en route to a 16-5 second quarter, which gave the home team a commanding 31-16 lead at the half.
Despite only one field goal in the third quarter, the Rams made six free throws and continued to dominate defensively, taking a 38-21 lead into the final stanza.
Packard hit another key three-pointer and the Rams outscored the Woolies 11-2 to seal the deal and give them their first win of the season.
Rams Head Ccoach Jim Hackenson was thrilled with the play of his outstanding backcourt of Gauvin and Packard.
“They played great defense,” said Hackenson. “They were on the perimeter and they shot Millbury’s offense down. Those two girls are quick and they are going to create havoc and I hope that we continue to do that. It creates our offense and we can run the court. We moved the ball well and we took the open shots - we didn’t have to force shots.”
As far as the long-range efficiency, Hackenson said that everyone on the team has the green light to shoot. ‘I thought we worked the ball well enough tonight and our baseline shooters got open. They kept working the ball until they got that open shot.”
Packard, who was a bit under the weather and could barely talk after the game said, “I love playing defense and tonight our defense helped create our offense and that’s how we scored.”
“We work really hard on defense in practice and we are fast so we can get fast breaks and get the open shots,” said Gauvin. “I’m a three point shooter. I can’t really drive, so I rely on my outside shot.”
Gauvin was especially happy about getting a win at home. “It felt great being the first home game, having all my friends here, being a senior, it was a great experience.”
It was also a great debut for Dominique Woods; a 5’9” transfer from East Catholic in Manchester CT, who saw significant playing time with sophomore Ciara McKissick sidelined with an illness.
Woods scored 7 points and played a solid overall game while senior Julie Priessler also contributed 5 points and some strong low post play off the bench.
Earlier in the week the Rams lost their season opener to Algonquin 58-52. Packard and Johanna L'Heureux each scored 16 points in the loss.
The 1-1 Rams will travel to Northbridge on Thursday (December 20) to take on their pesky SWCL rival.
For more on Shepherd Hill girl’s high school basketball, please check out View From The Sidelines every week in the Patriot and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ViewFromTheSidelines or contact
with your feedback and comments.