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After pandemic pause, Sierra Cherrie leads Fenway girls’ basketball to 3-0 start

The Boston Globe 1/25/2022 Ethan Fuller
Fenway High's Sierra Cherrie (right) pulls up for two of her 23 points in Monday night's 68-44 victory over O'Bryant in a Boston City League contest. © Matthew J Lee/Globe staff Fenway High's Sierra Cherrie (right) pulls up for two of her 23 points in Monday night's 68-44 victory over O'Bryant in a Boston City League contest.

After a nearly month-long pause prompted by a rise in COVID cases, the Boston City League is back in action.

It has taken more than a few days for the Fenway girls’ basketball team to shake off the rust. But the Panthers are headed in the right direction after a 68-44 win over O’Bryant at Dearborn STEM Academy Monday evening.

“We just really wanted to work together as a team, really,” Fenway junior guard Sierra Cherrie said. “We lift each other up. Just our spirit — it really works.”

The first half was marked by defensive breakdowns and turnovers as both sides adjusted to a physical matchup. Then Fenway (3-0) clicked in the third quarter, using a 10-0 run to open the frame by finding the pockets of O’Bryant’s zone defense. The Panthers turned to a full-court trap that stymied O’Bryant (2-2) for much of the second half in a 45-19 finish.

“It’s just chess,” said Fenway coach John Rice. “We just made some halftime adjustments and it worked out for us.”

Cherrie led the Panthers with 23 points. A transfer from Hingham, the smooth-scoring guard got her buckets effortlessly, splashing long jumpers and finishing off transition layups. She’s acclimated quickly to her new squad.

“Honestly, the spirit of the Fenway family really helped me pull through,” she said.

Senior guard Wynter Neal added 13 points and freshman forward Alani Hoilett had 10, including an and-one layup that got the Fenway bench roaring.

Jasmine Cox, who Rice called “the top player in the city,” led O’Bryant with 26 points.

Rice is back on the bench after a one-year absence amid pandemic-related cautions. He returns to a school with 20 City League titles under his guidance and a current four-year championship streak. Rice has savored the moments, but when the ball goes in the air, he’s locked in on the game.

“It’s just fun,” he said. “Of course it means a lot. But when you get into the season, it’s about right now. It’s about being in the moment.”

Acton-Boxborough 83, New Mission 25 — Sophomore Shannon Patrick (22 points, 12 rebounds) and freshman Olivia Baytarian (19 points) paced A-B (4-6) to a nonleague win.

Cardinal Spellman 52, Carver 41 — Senior Maddie Feetham and Mairead Gallagher each scored 20 points, propelling the Cardinals (4-7) to a nonleague win.

Dracut 65, Brockton 51 — Cam Watkins (17 points), Ashlee Talbot (16 points), and Tati Fevry (12 points) all delivered double-figure nights for the No. 17 Middies (10-2) in a nonleague win.

Durfee 73, Bishop Connolly 34 — Mackenzie Carreiro (20 points) and Jada Holley (12) led the Hilltoppers (6-3) to the nonleague win.

Lowell Catholic 52, Mystic Valley 25 — After a 25-day layoff for LC, junior captain Catherine Antwi (20 points, 9 steals) was the catalyst for the host Crusaders (3-4) in the Commonwealth win. McKenna Green had five 3-pointers and a career-high 19 points.

Matignon 44, Mt. Alvernia 41 — Sophomore Isabelle Lopez-Mayrin posted a double-double with 25 points and 11 assists to lead the Warriors (8-2) to a nonleague win over the Mustangs.

Newburyport 58, Masconomet 40 — Emma Foley (14 points) led the 12th-ranked Clippers (10-0) to a nonleague win against Masconomet.

Norwood 58, Bridgewater-Raynham 25 — Senior Megan Olbrys racked up a double-double in the first half on her way to a 25-point, 13 rebound night as No. 3 Mustangs ruled the nonleague matchup against No. 10 B-R (7-3) in Bridgewater. Erin Reen had 6 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Reading 49, Wakefield 40 — Jackie Malley’s 25 points helped power the Rockets (10-3) in the Middlesex League win.

Westport 51, Case 50 — Lily Pichette had a dominant performance with 13 points and 17 rebounds to go along with 7 steals and 3 blocked shots in the Mayflower League win for the Wildcats (4-5). Korynne Holden led the hosts with 19 points.

Emma Healy, Cam Kerry, Ethan McDowell, and Vitoria Poejo contributed to this story. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email hssports@globe.com. Tweet scores @GlobeSchools.

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