After being held to 19 points in the first half, the Stoughton High girls' basketball team scored 19 just in the fourth quarter alone, pulling away at Canton and spoiling the Bulldogs' senior night, winning 50-29 Wednesday evening.
With the win, Stoughton improves to 12-5, while Canton falls to 2-15. Already playoff bound, each win Stoughton gets as it closes out the regular season will help to improve its seeding come state tournament time.
"Every win we pick up now is a better chance of a home game [in the tournament]," Stoughton coach Janet Sullivan said.
Stoughton took a 19-14 lead into the half, and Sullivan acknowledged it was a "sluggish start" to the game. Only two players - Nicole Daniels (12 points) and Mackenzie McGrath (7 points) - had scored.
Compare that to the second half where Stoughton had five players score in the third quarter and six players score in the fourth quarter, for a total of eight different players scoring by game's end.
The Black Knights took a 31-22 lead into the final quarter, and turned a 9-point lead into a 21-point victory, thanks to a stingy defense and improved offensive output down the stretch.
"When we're just a one dimensional team with [Daniels and McGrath] basically passing it to each other - one or the other is going to take the shot and it's easy for teams to stop us," Sullivan said.
"In the second half, we opened it up a little bit more, got more players involved and played a little bit better defense; mixed it up a little bit more - pressed a little bit, played some zone, played some man - and they had a little trouble adjusting to the constantly changing defenses."
Daniels ended up with 17 points and 21 rebounds. McGrath had 10 points; Ashley Medeiros has 6 points; Ariene Ohimor had 5; Emma Zuk and Marlena Siegel both had 4 points apiece; and Kayla Motley and Taitenna Thomas each had 2 points.
Stoughton travels to Oliver Ames (16-0) on Friday for a 6:30 p.m. game between the Hockomock League Davenport Division rivals.