TOWNSEND - Mid-Wach B did not start off the way the previously unbeaten Lady Patriots had hoped. Algonquin rode four second half threes from Lucy LeBlond (15 points, four rebounds) to take the lead for good as the Lady Tomahawks upset North Middlesex, 52-43.
Algonquin's Amanda Murphy also chipped in with 15 points and three rebounds.
"The third quarter through the fourth quarter was when she (LeBlond) really beat us," North Middlesex head coach Pat Murphy said. "We were very worried about 20 (Amanda Murphy) because she is their high scorer - I knew that LeBlond had the potential to shoot the three."
Senior forward Mackensey Farina paced the Lady Patriots with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Algonquin took advantage of 27 Lady Patriots turnovers, 15 of which came in the second half alone.
"We turned the ball over," he said. "It's a credit to them - they forced us to do what we were uncomfortable doing. You got to pull the air out and be a little more selective. I thought Erin Antosh played pretty well, but then she got in foul trouble."
North Middlesex never led by more than three points in the first quarter. Farina's inside jumper towards the end of the frame gave the Lady Patriots' their largest advantage, 11-8.
Algonquin's Olivia Giorlandino connected with a free throw to bring the Lady Tomahawks back to win two, 11-9. LeBlond brought Algonquin back within one midway through the second quarter on a slicing drive to the basket off a transition feed from Girolandino to make it, 13-12, with 4:27 remaining in the half.
Farina and Olivia Cappuci (11 points, two rebounds) accounted for six of the Lady Patriots' 10 points in the quarter. North Middlesex held a 21-16 lead at the half.
Algonquin came out of the break and switched into a full-court press, which gave the Lady Patriots' transition defense fits. Algonquin went on a 12-2 run late in the third quarter, due in part to the hot-hand of LeBlond from behind the three-point line. While LeBlond was heating up, the Lady Patriots interior game was cooling down. Turnovers plagued North Middlesex all throughout the second half. LeBlond's three-pointer with 3:40 remaining in the third helped stretch the Lady Tomahawks' lead to nine, 36-27. North Middlesex cut it to eight points early in the fourth quarter on a Julia Murray( two points, five assists) jumper, but the Lady Tomahawks continued to supply steady defensive pressure.
Another three-point bomb from LeBlond late in the quarter was the eventual dagger, as Algonquin's lead quickly ballooned to 13, 47-34.
North Middlesex scrapped its way back within seven on a powerful finish by Farina from Murray with 1:28 remaining. That is as close as the
Lady Patriots would get as their unbeaten streak ends at six.
"I can't fault them where they were up 11 at one point, and we cut it back to seven," the coach said. "In a loss, you always look for a couple of silver linings. I think the fact that we didn't fold - we played hard right to the end. They can use that to make themselves better. They're (Algonquin) a difficult team to defend. They handle the ball well - they are hard to pressure. But, we'll learn from it - onward and upward."