Lakeland, Brewster, Panas Chalk up Wins out of Break
By Tony Pinciaro
Following an 18-day layoff, LAKELAND resumed its winning ways in the current girls’ varsity basketball season.
Lakeland trumped Nanuet, 47-41, improving its record to 6-3 this season. Alexa Cole led all scorers with 21 points and she also added nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Cole went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line to seal the win. Kelsey Walsh chipped in with 14 points.
Lakeland’s record has the team feeling optimistic as it heads into the second half of the season. The Hornets have been successful, to date, because of three factors.
“I think what’s helped us so far is our team chemistry and our hard work,” Walsh said. “We all get along really well and we work hard in practice and it transfers over into the game.
“Also, Alexa (Cole) has been our leading scorer each game, which also helps a lot. Having a good record early in the season has been a great motivation and confidence booster for our team.”
After a lengthy ‘vacation’ from games, Walsh and her teammates made the best of practice and overcame complacency that could affect teams.
“After not playing a game for over two weeks, it got a little hard, at some points, to stay focused in practice over the long break, but we managed to do it,” Walsh said. “And when it came time to play, we stayed energetic and focused, which helped us have a really good game against Nanuet.”
Lakeland Coach Miranda (Lustig) Mangan credited her team with picking up its defensive intensity in the fourth quarter against Nanuet. Mangan cited senior Claire McKenna with being a difference-maker defensively in the final quarter.
“Claire did a really nice job of defending Zoe Amalbert in the fourth quarter,” said Mangan of Nanuet’s leading scorer. “Claire did a great job of denying Amalbert the ball. When Amalbert did get the ball, Claire did a great job of staying in front of her and challenging her shots.”
BREWSTER, like Lakeland, continued its fine play as it opened 2018 with a 54-44 win over North Salem.
Maggie DePaoli poured in a game-high 27 points and Meagan Beal added eight points and 11 rebounds as the Bears improved to 9-3 this season.
“We did a great job adjusting to three starters in foul trouble and not playing great transition defense in the first half,” Brewster Coach Mike Castaldo said. “We were only up six at the half. We stayed in a zone and did a much better job in the transition.
“I was very happy with the way we adjusted and responded because North Salem did a great job against our man and we needed to stay in the zone. I wasn’t happy that we had to switch to zone, but we played it well and it got us the win.”
MAHOPAC swept Ursuline B, 39-24, and YORKTOWN, 47-38 in the consolation game of the Panas Tournament, to even its record at 4-4.
Claire Felix scored a game-high 16 points and Caitlyn O’Boyle chipped in with nine points against Ursuline B.
Zina McInerney scored a season-high 21 points and Felix added 11 points against Yorktown. McInerney was named to the all-tournament team.
“We were anemic offensively in the first half and we also got into foul trouble, early, having to sit two starters midway through the first quarter,” Mahopac coach Chuck Scozzafava said. “Our defense kept us in the game during the first half. In the second half our offense came to life and we were able to pull away enough to get the win.”
Kat Severino led Yorktown with 15 points and was chosen for the all-tournament team.
PANAS (3-4) held firm for a 48-48 win over host Yorktown last Wednesday, getting a team-high 17 points from senior captain Danielle Merante. Panther Kellie Brown added 11 points, including big free throws down the stretch, according to Coach Matt Evangelista. Kristen Kelly chipped in eight points and big baskets to bring Panas back from an early deficit. Severino led Yorktown with 22 points to keep her solid season going.
Panas also lost to Class AA R.C. Ketcham in the finals of the Panas Holiday Tournament, 49-38. Merante led the Panthers with 14 points. Merante and Brown were named to the all-tournament team…
Ossining had the week off. The Pride returned and played Kennedy Catholic, Monday, before a Friday meeting with 2017 Section 1 Class A champion, Somers. The Tuskers and Putnam Valley, who are having solid years, were both snowed out of its respective games last week.
HEN HUD dialed up the defensive intensity in a 41-28 victory over Haldane. After allowing 12 points in the first quarter, Hen Hud only surrendered 16 points the rest of the way, including just three points in the fourth quarter.
“What I was most happy with in the fourth quarter was I had the role players who came off the bench and did their jobs,” Hen Hud Coach Ken Sherman said. “Kira Varada came off the bench and had five steals and shut down their guard. Aniyah Thomas and Thalia Oliveria also came off the bench and contributed quality minutes which we will need down the road.”
Caitlin Weimar finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals. Thomas added six points and three steals.
Coaches are encouraged to contact beat writer Tony Pinciaro after each and every game at Tfinch23@optonline.net for inclusion in the weekly Girls’ Hoops Notebook