Short-handed Wildcats pull away from Eagles

Emma Puleri shoots a 3-pointer during the first half of Lee’s win over Mt. Everett Thursday night in Sheffield. Puleri scored a game-high 13 points. (Photo by Matthew Tonis)

SHEFFIELD — Down two starters due to injury, the Lee girls’ basketball team traveled south to Sheffield for a clash with last season’s Berkshire South champions in Mt. Everett. Vying for this season’s title, the Wildcats entered play Thursday having won their previous three games, two of which were against South opponents.

Lee improved its already impressive record against division opponents with a 50-28 win over the Eagles, led in scoring by Emma Puleri, who finished the night with 13 points, and Lydia Simone, who tallied 12.

In addition to Caroline Maloney’s injury, the Wildcats were also without starting guard Carina Brown, forcing Puleri to maneuver pieces around to formulate a rotation. Into the starting lineup alongside Brianna Kelly, who replaced Maloney, was Kaden Kelly, a guard that has seen her playing time increase of late.

After losing two of five starters, many teams would expect to see a dip in production, but Puleri heaped praise on his roster for how it has handled the past few weeks and having to fill different roles than anticipated.

“I’ve got to give the girls credit because they’ve really stepped up,” Puleri said. “The girls that have stepped into the starting role and the girls coming off the bench have all really upped their game. They played well and they’ve been playing well for two or three weeks now.”

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