By BRIAN CUNNIFF
WILDWOOD – McKenna Anderson responded well to adversity Tuesday morning.
The senior from the Cape May Tech girls basketball team had a chance to lift her team to victory over Cumberland at the close of regulation but missed a shot from right under the rim.
The Lady Hawks, however, went on to win the game much because of Anderson’s contributions in the extra session.
Anderson scored four points in overtime, including a layup with a little more than a minute remaining that gave her team the lead for good, as Cape May Tech beat Cumberland, 57-55, at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic for its first victory of the season.
“McKenna is a great player for us,” Tech coach Dan Loesch said. “She’s a senior and she goes 100 percent all the time. Sometimes she’s a little too quick and we have to settle her down a bit. She did that and she did a phenomenal job for us. She was very, very clutch for us at the end.”
Alyssa Gery and Emma Drumm each made two free throws, Amanda Daino sank one and Samantha Kretschmer added a basket in the overtime period for Cape May Tech.
The final score made the final moments look closer than they actually were. Cumberland’s Dinaya Brisbone made a three-pointer at the buzzer to set the final two-point margin.
“It feels good and I want the girls to feel good,” Loesch said. “Hopefully this gives us momentum into the rest of the season.”
Tech trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half. But the Lady Hawks made a big run in the third quarter to take a brief lead, often getting easy baskets by passing ahead against the Cumberland press defense.
“We worked on it all week in practice after Bridgeton pressed us pretty hard and we weren’t prepared for it,” Loesch said. “It was good to see us execute better.
“I thought our intensity wasn’t there at the start and that’s how we got down 12. We panicked a little with the ball. But then we settled down and made some better passes and we brought up our intensity on defense.”
Cape May Tech received outstanding scoring balance in the win. Gery (12 points), Kretschmer (11) and Anderson (10) each scored in double figures, while Hayli Estes added seven and Daino and Marley Wetzel each chipped in six.
Cape May Tech next plays Thursday at 9:30 a.m. against Oakcrest in the Boardwalk Classic at the Wildwoods Convention Center.