Athlete Of The Week: AJ Gates

by Brad Joyal
Monomoy senior AJ Gates. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO Monomoy senior AJ Gates. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

HARWICH – Desperate for a win after three straight losses, Monomoy senior AJ Gates turned in one of, if not her best, performance of the season.

The senior guard from Sandwich led all scorers with 21 points while also helping to anchor the team’s defensive efforts in the Sharks’ dominant 53-24 victory over Nantucket on Friday afternoon in Harwich.

“AJ had a really good game,” Monomoy’s first-year coach Craig Andrews said. “She plays hard all the time. It all comes off of ball movement, and they were moving the ball around better today.”

Gates had a breakout third quarter in which she recorded nine points to go with four points in each of the other three frames.

After playing for the varsity team since she was an eighth grader, Gates said the thought of her basketball season reaching an end is already creeping into her mind.

“I’ve been on this team for five years,” she said. “They are family. It’s been pretty much the same girls playing together since fourth or fifth grade, so it’s already hitting on my heart.”

As strong as her scoring was in the victory, Gates noted that it wouldn’t have been possible with a committed effort to the defensive end.

“That’s a big part of our game — defense,” she said. “Defense leads to offense, and we like to get fast breaks.”