POLAND — Yarmouth and Poland had similar game plans for their WMC Class B South girls’ basketball contest Friday night: play zone defense and force the other team to make shots.

The visiting Clippers executed that game plan better early, then well enough late to hold on for a 48-40 victory over Poland.

“They are, quite frankly, the team that has all the tools to give us all the problems,” Poland coach Mike Susi said. “They’ve got athleticism, they’ve got length, they shoot the ball well, they play zone. Those are all things that frustrate us. And they’re well-coached, to boot.”

The Clippers (8-4) struggled with the Knights’ (8-4) zone on their first two possessions, and weren’t able to get a shot off either time down. So the third time was the charm, with Sara D’Appolonia driving in for a three-point play in transition to put Yarmouth on the board. Johanna Hattan nailed a 3-pointer the next time down, then D’Appolonia had another transition layup to put the Clippers up 8-0, forcing Susi to call a timeout.

Sarah Moody put the Knights on the board with a layup out of the timeout. Natalie Theriault and Moody hit back-to-back 3s later in the quarter to cut the deficit to 10-8.

“We were able to make some shots and get in early, and get the ball to places that we wanted to early,” said Susi, whose team only scored two first-quarter points during a 35-29 loss at Yarmouth earlier in the season.


Clippers head coach Christina Strong said she remembered how that game finished up, as well.

“I think defense is definitely our strong suit,” Strong said. “And when we played them last time, they hit I think three or four 3s toward the end of the game that brought them back into it. So we knew that we had to adjust our defense. We came out in one zone, then we adjusted to a different zone when they started hitting their 3s, and I think that helped us.”

A Corey Langenbach 3 increased the Clippers’ lead to 13-8 after one quarter, then a combination of solid shooting and stout defense turned that into a 12-0 run midway through the second.

Alison Clark started the second-quarter scoring with a shot from the point, and the senior forward scored four of her nine points in the period.

“Last time we played them, Alison only took six shots, so we knew that we had to get the ball into her more,” Strong said. “If nothing else, just to open up the outside. She’s critical, and she’s so strong in there.”

While the Knights were focused on stopping Clark, who is taller than any of the players that made it into the game for Poland, it was her frontcourt mate, Hattan, who carried the load offensively for Yarmouth in the quarter. Hattan poured in nine of her 13 points in the second, out-scoring the Knights by herself (nine to seven).


The lead was 28-15 at half, and the Clippers soon increased that to 32-15 for their biggest lead of the game. Then the Knights began chipping away.

Katelyn Dufour hit a pair of 3s to help Poland cut the lead to 11 (37-26) heading into the fourth quarter.

Clementine Blaschke opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a three-point play for the Clippers, but the Knights answered with an 8-0 run to cut the score to 40-34. Dufour hit another 3 to finish up the run.

“Kate Dufour started to work for us,” Susi said. “She stepped up off the bench, and she’s got that never-say-die attitude. It was really kind of like one of the emotional leaders of the team. She made a couple of big shots, then all of a sudden our engines started going a little bit.”

That was as close as the game would get, however. The Clippers made enough free throws (7 of 10) to seal up the victory.

“We expend a lot of energy trying to come back, when we’re playing from behind,” Susi said. “Even sometimes when you got some things finally going, some energy going your way, sometimes it’s not enough.”

Dufour led the Knights with 11 points, while Moody added 10 and Theriault nine.

D’Appolonia and Hattan led Yarmouth with 13 apiece.

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