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The Indians' girls' basketball squad went 3-for-3 on the road this past week, notching victories over Law (43-40) on Jan. 29, North Haven (51-38) on Jan. 31, and capping the week off with a 45-30 triumph over Hand on Feb. 1. Guilford is now 12-5 and has won nine of its last 10 games.
For starters, the Indians played a tough Law team and held on for the three-point win. The Indians got what Coach Bob Welsh called, "a monster game out of Tori Loukakes," who scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The next night, Guilford was on the road at North Haven and it had what Welsh dubbed, "a supreme team effort" led by Presley Altieri's 16 points, along with 12 from Ali Hart. Loukakes had nine points and eight boards, while captain Carla Puchini had a season-high nine assists. Guilford went on a 15-2 run following intermission to put the game out of reach.
Finally, Guilford traveled to rival Hand. The Tigers came in at 10-6 and were looking for revenge from a mid-January loss at the hands of the Indians. Following a Guilford time out, Welsh shifted to a 3-2 zone defense, which Guilford used to employ the balance of the game according to Welsh, led by a tenacious Nikki Basilicato. Guilford also used a balanced scoring attack with Hart (9 points), Loukakes (8), along with Puchini and Altieri (both with 7 points). Loukakes and Hart came up big on the boards, each snaring a dozen rebounds as Guilford vaulted to a 40-21 lead early in the fourth quarter. Hand ran off seven straight points to close to within 12, but never got closer. Guilford next plays host to East Haven on Feb. 7 for Senior Night, a night honoring two seniors in Hart and Puchini, who Welsh feels have been nothing but superb for the red hot Indians.
"Ali Hart is a defensive specialist and usually she is assigned the opponent's top scorer and has done a great job of shutting down most of the opposing scorers," remarked Welsh on Hart. "She'd be the first to tell you, she does it with a lot of defensive help from her teammates. Carla is an explosive guard with lightning quick speed; she can get to the hoop in a hurry and creates matchup problems for opposing teams. She and Ali are close friends; the chemistry and leadership they bring to the team is contagious. The kids all believe in themselves, working hard, and still focusing on improving and taking it one game at time."