Hand girls basketball team pulls away from Lauralton Hall

MADISON >> Tim Tredwell had to remind his Hand girls’ basketball players at halftime that they needed to retain their composure.

The Tigers did just that over the final 15 minutes to break open a tight game and downed Lauralton Hall, 58-43, Jan. 17.

Hand led at halftime, 26-18, for its biggest lead of the first 16 minutes.

“It certainly didn’t feel like it,” Tredwell said. “We made a couple of adjustments at halftime. If our energy got too chaotic, we were getting out of position. We still did, but we retained enough composure.”

Lauralton Hall closed it to 29-24 when Lauren Adams a three-pointer with 3:42 left in the third quarter.

But Kaitlyn Martin, who was huge on the boards and added 11 points, grabbed a big offensive rebound for the second straight trip downcourt and scored on a layup to make push the Tigers ahead 31-24.

“She’s a kid who works as hard as anyone on the planet and doesn’t get nearly enough credit because she doesn’t put up huge numbers,” Tredwell said. “She battles against kids who might be quicker and bigger than her, but no one outworks her. If she has a couple big moments like that, it’s huge for our team.”

“We couldn’t box her out and how many times did she cut across our face and put a move on us,” Lauralton Hall coach Amanda Forcucci said. “If she didn’t get the first shot, she got her own rebound.”

After the Crusaders (2-7) closed it to 31-26 on a Colleen McCarthy (16 points) bucket, Hand went on a 21-8 run over the next six minutes to break the game wide open with the Tigers’ largest lead of the night, 52-34.

The big contributor was senior point guard Gabby Martin, who scored 13 of her career-high 27 points in the fourth quarter.

“This is the best we’ve played all year - hands down,” Forcucci noted. “We played awesome defense and made some key buckets to keep us close, but it was turnovers that got the best of us when they turned the press up.”

Tredwell was impressed with the Crusaders’ work ethic.

“I don’t think anyone is going to work harder than Lauralton Hall,” Tredwell said. “Their coach is great.”

Hand improved to 9-2 with the victory.

“I’m pleased to be 9-2, but I feel like we’re better than we were tonight,” Tredwell said. “That will be my focus on fixing it for Friday (at Hillhouse).”