The Saugus High School girls’ basketball team was on a roll, having won five of their last six games going into last Friday’s contest at Peabody. The game would be a real test for Saugus, as Peabody sported a 10-1 overall record entering the game. Despite being held to just two points in the second quarter, the Sachems managed to hang tough and climb to within four points at 27-23 early in the fourth quarter, but the host Tanners outscored Saugus by a 13-5 margin the rest of the way to pull out a low-scoring 40-28 triumph.
It was a defensive battle all the way. Just as Saugus was kept to a two-spot in period two, the Tanners only netted four points in the entire third quarter. A key 10-0 run in the final period helped Peabody eventually pull away. No Saugus player reached double figures in scoring. Guard Peyton DiBiasio and center Fallon Millerick shared the scoring-leader honors with eight points each.
It was just the second loss in seven games for the Sachems, who started the season by dropping three of their first four contests.
After the game, Head Coach Mark Schruender told the press he thought his squad demonstrated the psychological strength needed when playing a difficult on-the-ball, trapping team like Peabody: “We talked about toughness before the game, not necessarily physical toughness, but the type of mental toughness you need in a game like this. And I thought we did well.” Saugus lost to the Tanners by 22 in its home opener back in December.
The Sachems resumed play on Tuesday at home against a struggling Gloucester team. They took advantage and rolled to a 57-34 victory. DiBiasio and Millerick once again topped the scoring list with 14 points each. Maddie Femino contributed seven points; Schruender also cited Cassie Israelson and Devany Millerick for their strong efforts.
The Sachems improved to 8-5 overall with a 50-45 win at Medford on Wednesday. Ella Castle and Millerick each poured in 13 points while Jessica Bremberg and Cassie Israelson combined for 12.