Bunnell adjustment pays off

The Bunnell High girls basketball team kept switching defensive schemes until coach Marvin Tyson found one that worked for his Lady Bulldogs against Oxford High in a South-West Conference contest in Stratford on Jan. 9.
“We went to a 1-3-1, which helped us out tremendously,” Tyson said after Bunnell rallied to win a 64-56 decision.
“I’m really proud of the team, and it’s nice to have a ninety-percent foul shooter.”
Tyson was speaking of Jess Bogdwicz, who made 12-of-14 free throws in the final quarter, when the Lady Bulldogs outscored the Wolverines, 24-20.
“Jess is unselfish with the ball, but she is the player we want at the foul line,” Tyson said. “She made every shot.”
Bogdwicz scored 16 of her career-high 32 points in the final period, when the locals stretched a 40-36 lead to improve to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the SWC.
Bunnell went on a 23-10 run in the third quarter to erase a 26-17 halftime deficit.
Oxford (2-5) looked to fast break whenever possible, and in its halfcourt offense tried to get Bunnell to overplay off its man defense and get backdoor hoops.
Bunnell led 9-8 after one period, with Bogdwicz and Deja Fonseca hitting perimeter shots and Lauryn Kostopoulos knocking down a hook shot.
Shannon Hofmiller played well defensively inside, and Erin Koletar and Bogdwicz had assists.
The Lady Bulldogs misfired on their first seven possessions of the second quarter, before Bogdwicz scored on a runner to stop a 10-0 Oxford run.
Caitlin Carrafiello tipped an entry pass to Hofmiller, and Fonseca found Bogdwicz open in the corner for one of the junior guard’s three long-range jumpers.
Oxford scored the last seven points and took a 26-17 lead into the half.
Tyson tried a high-post offense to open up the lane for his offense to begin the third quarter, and Bogdwicz drove to the hole and was rewarded with three made free throws.
Carrafiello and Mudre began to substitute every defensive possession, and Bunnell’s 1-3-1 held Oxford to 3-of-9 shooting from the floor.
Fonseca hit a 3-pointer, Bogdwicz found Kostopoulos on a screen-and-roll for a bucket, before a Mudre blocked shot led to Carrafiello hustling her way to an assist on Bogdwicz’ three-point play.
Bunnell was within 31-28 midway through the third frame.
Bogdwicz came up with a loose ball and assisted on a Kostopoulos hoop, before Koletar drained a 3-pointer for a 33-31 Bunnell lead at the 3:13 mark of the stanza.
Kostopoulos’ 3-pointer capped a 13-0 run before Oxford scored the last four points to tie the game at 36.
Ryane Newall’s steal and breakaway basket gave Bunnell the lead before Kostopoulos leveraged a rebound into two free throws and a four-point lead after three.
It was 40-39 when Bunnell scored on five straight possessions to boost its advantage to 51-41 with 4:33 remaining.
Carrafiello scored inside, Fonseca gave the ball back to Bogdwicz for a 3-pointer, Bogdwicz drove to the hoop for a three-point play, and Bianca Burgos and Bogdwicz tacked on free throws.
Forced to play a man defense, Oxford chased Bogdwicz, Koletar and Fonseca before fouling, and Bogdwicz was lights out from the line.

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