LAWRENCE — Pentucket's 6-foot center Tess Nogueira has had some trouble finishing around the basket this winter.
She's not the only one on her team.
"Coach Mac, coach Beaton, they are both out there with the pads slamming us when we are taking our layups (in practice) and we've had to run a lot after missed layups," Nogueira said. "I think we've finally got it into our heads that we need to finish."
Nogueira finished extremely well last night while pouring in 19 points in a 59-41 victory over Central Catholic in the championship game of the Board 130 Basketball Classic.
Nogueira also collected nine rebounds and was named tournament MVP. She netted 29 points in two tourney games.
"Tessie, we have always been on her to finish in practice, and now in games she has definitely come forward and is definitely one of the better players," Pentucket's Sarah Higgins said.
Nogueira's 19 points was her season high. You have to think that if Nogueira can continue to score inside like she did last night, then the Sachems will be able to make another deep postseason run.
"It's always nice to score more points, but it's all about it being a team game," Nogueira said. "And if I have more assists than points in a game, I'm fine with that. I just try to get the ball moving. If I score points, it's great."
Central has been dealing with injuries. Strong shooter Caitlin Dell'Orfano (ACL injury) is out for season. Casey McLaughlin (knee) had been out since Jan. 5, but played a few minutes off the bench in the second quarter yesterday.
Still, it was a quality win for Pentucket despite Central's injury problems.
"It's always a great feeling to beat a team that everyone thinks is better than you," Nogueira said.