By PHIL BRODSKY
Orange Live Sports Writer
Sponsored by Pat Cardozo from Coldwell Banker
Heading into the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s Southern Connecticut Conference girls’ basketball inter-divisional contest, Amity held a precarious 32-29 lead over visiting Jonathan Law. While the Lady Spartans held the lead from the very start of the game, the pesky Golden Eagles were always right behind. Every time Amity tried to pull away, Law refused to fold. The final session got underway with Chloe Brinton netting a jump shot. Shortly thereafter, Molly Roman followed suit to give Amity a 36-29 advantage. Another Roman pop and Mikaila Schmitt’s three pointer enabled the Lady Spartans to open their biggest lead of the night, 41-29 with 4 minutes, 10 seconds left in the game.
After being held scoreless for more than four minutes, Law finally got back onto the scoreboard with Laura Dulin’s lay-up. Pairs of free throws from Sam Murphy and then Catie Miller along with Murphy’s three point play enabled Law to go on a 9-2 run and slash Amity’s lead back to only five points (43-38). That would be as close as Law would get as the Lady Spartans held off the Eagles and went on to record a 49-38 victory.
“I knew Law would play us very aggressively tonight. They never backed down and gave u s a real fight,” said Amity Coach Michelle Martinik. “We had to maintain our offensive edge, hit our foul shots down the stretch and rebound. All week in practice our focus has been to rebound, rebound, and rebound. Our shooting was up and down tonight, but we won with rebounding and great post play by our front court. We’re still a young team. Things will come together in time.”
True to their coach’s word, the Black and Gold outrebounded Law 46-24. In addition to dropping in 10 points, Schmitt hauled in a game-high 15 rebounds. Kristin Post grabbed 13 caroms and Roman pulled down seven.
Roman’s put back in the opening moments of the contest followed by Schmitt’s three point play gave the winners an early 5-0 lead. That’s to consecutive scores from Brinton and Roman that lead soon was extended to 9-2 with 4:59 left in the first quarter. As they would do all night long, Law clawed its way back. Jenna Bernard’s put back along with pairs of freebies from Dulin and Murphy draw the visitors back within two points (11-9) with 2:19 to go. Kyra Alston’s base line jumper knotted the tally at 11 but Caroline McDonald swished a p air of foul shots with 41 seconds left on the clock to put the Lady Spartans back on top by a pair (13-11) after the first quarter.
It was much the same sorry in the second quarter. When Roman canned three foul shots and Post need a pair, Amity opened up a 19-12 advantage with 5:12 left in the first half. Slowly but surely the Golden Eagles nibbled away at that lead and close the first half with a 9-4 run that drew them back within two points (23-21) at the break. They key to Law’s come back were consecutive last minute lay-ups by Bernard.
In addition to being badly out rebounded, Law also committed 23 turnovers as compared to only 17 by Amity.
Noting those two factors, Law Coach Heather Borges said, “We made far too many unnecessary, unforced turnovers. Amity also boxed out well and beat us badly on the boards. We have a lot of work to do, but we are a very young team that is getting better every day. I started two freshmen tonight. We’re not deep but we are continually working on the fundamentals.”
Amity hit on 15 of its 54 shots (28%) while Jonathan Law netted 10 of its 42 tries (24%). Murphy tossed in a team-high 11 points for the losers. Both Miller and freshman Erin Saley recorded five rebounds.
Law is now 0-3 while the 2-1 Lady Spartans look ahead to Tuesday night’s SCC inter-divisional visit to West Haven.