By PHIL BRODSKY
Orange Live Sports Writer
Chloe Brinton popped in 13 points and Molly Ronan added 12 as the Amity girls basketball team defeated Branford 54-36 Thursday night at the Hornets’ home nest. It was the third win in a row for Coach Michelle Martinik’s Lady Spartans, who now sport a glossy 4-1 record, while the Hornets slip back to 3-2.
Led by Brinton and Ronan, the winners jumped out to an early 8-3 lead and by the end of the first half, had expanded their advantage to 19-11. Amity iced its victory cake with a 35-25 second half advantage. The 3-2 Hornets recorded only 10 field goals and half of that total came from three-point land. Branford’s Gabriella Melgar tossed in a team-best 13 points. Included in that total were a trio of field goals from beyond the arc.
In addition to the double-digit scoring by Brinton and Ronan, the Lady Spartans also got solid offensive contributions from Caroline McDonald (nine points) and Mikala Schmitt (eight points). Led by Brinton (eight rebounds) and Kristen Post (7 rebounds) Amity outboarded the Hornets by a whopping 30-11.
“Unlike the West Haven game, we came out, moved well at both ends of the court, and played aggressively against Branford all night. Branford is a very physical, in-your-face, aggressive type of team so we knew that we had to match their intensity. I was so glad to see that we never let up. Branford likes to push the ball and we knew that defensively, we had to be ready to stop them. ” Lady Spartan Coach Michelle Martinik said. “It was our defense that kept us ahead throughout the game.”
She went on to note that because the Hornets were so aggressive on defense, her girls were able to find open teammates and hit them with passes that frequently led to easy, uncontested lay-ups. Amity ended up shooting a sizzling hot 65% from the floor (28 of 43).
Martinik added, “It’s taken us two full years to really get to a point where we are confident playing our man-to-man defense. Janae Graham did a great defensive job on Melgar, who is their top scorer and best guard. She showed that she can drive to the hoop and also step out and hit the three. We were upbeat and really played well. It was a great way to go into our holiday break.”
Amity is now idle until Thursday at 7 p.m. when it hosts Oxford in the first round of the Candy Cane Invitational Tournament.