Jan. 14—The Gloucester girls basketball team hit the floor for the first time in 2022 on Thursday afternoon with Salem Academy visiting the Smith Field House. The Fishermen were shut down since December 22 due to COVID protocols, and seeing their first action in over three weeks they had to work off some rust, especially on the offensive end of the floor.
While Gloucester battled, Salem Academy executed a potent full court press and got 33 points from Cindy Shehu en route to a 56-39 win.
"We were a little rusty not playing in three weeks but we also need to find ways to score more points," Gloucester head coach Shaun Goulart said. "Salem Academy was aggressive and when they sped the game up on us we got a little frantic and rushed some shots. This is a young team and we're still learning but we'll benefit from playing more regularly now."
Shehu was the difference in Thursday's contest as she dominated play on both ends of the floor with 10 rebounds to go along with her big night offensively. The junior was also key in transition as she had several steals, which led to easy baskets.
"She was a really good player and we threw everything we had at her defensively," Goulart said. "She could hit from long range and scored off of her defense which is tough to stop."
Shehu scored 11 points in a back-and-forth opening fame that saw Salem Academy ahead, 13-12. The Navigators created some distance with a big second quarter as their full court press got going, forcing several turnovers leading to baskets in transition to take a 34-20 lead into halftime.
On the other end of the floor, Gloucester had trouble stringing possessions together. While the Fishermen held a sizable 34-21 edge on the glass, Salem Academy was able to get enough transition points and made more shots to open up the lead.
Gloucester (0-6) hung around in a third quarter stalemate, but Salem Academy pulled away in the fourth on the back of its full court press once again, opening up a lead of more than 20 points before Gloucester cut it to 57-39 at the final buzzer.
Lexi Carollo had a big game for Gloucester with a team-high 16 points to go along with seven rounds and strong defensive play. Adelyn Richardson had 12 points and a pair of three-pointers while Bella Goulart hauled in 10 rebounds and played well defensively in the paint.
The Fishermen return to action on Friday at home against Marblehead (6:30 p.m.).
Salem Academy 57, Gloucester 39
at Benjamin A. Smith Field House, Gloucester
Salem Academy 13 21 10 13| 57
Gloucester 12 8 10 9| 39
SA: Cindy Shehu 11-8-33, Kianny Mirable-Nunez 6-0-13, Genevieve Pelletier 2-0-5, Cristal Pujols 2-0-4, Emilie Nieves 1-0-2.
G: Lexi Carollo 8-0-16, Adelyn Richardson 5-0-12, Bella Goulart 3-0-6, Taiya Mano 1-0-3, La'Neisha Jenkins 1-0-2.
3-Pointers: SA, Shehu 3, Mirable-Nunez, Pelletier; G, Richardson 2, Mano.
Halftime: 34-20 Salem Academy