Weekly Feature

2018-01-11 / Sports

East girls cagers rebound from season’s first loss


West Seneca East’s girls basketball team was quick to put its first loss of the season behind it, bouncing back into the win column in its first opportunity to do so by beating Starpoint on Monday, 52-39.

A 21-11 run over the course of the fourth quarter helped the Lady Trojans break open what had been a relatively close game up to that point. East, which began the final frame with a 31-28 lead, hit the defensive glass hard all night to limit Starpoint’s chances at attempting multiple shots per possession.

“We turned up the pressure in the fourth quarter, and that made them waste some time on the clock with each possession they had,” coach Ryan Colbert said. “We just came into this game not wanting to be the team that folds after taking a key loss, and the girls absolutely bounced back well and did what they needed to do.

“We knew going into the game that they have some good shooters, so we really turned our attention to getting as many defensive rebounds as we could,” Colbert continued. “It just felt great to win. Everybody was in the game mentally and everyone was taking smart shots. It really was a great boost to our morale following a hard first loss.”

East, which led 21-16 at the half, was led by Nicole Kumro’s 14 points, six rebounds and one block. Kelsey Kaufman chipped in with 12 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two assists, while Amanda Weiner added 11 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists. Hailey Cenname contributed seven points, two rebounds and two assists.

Starpoint was just what the doctor ordered for East following Saturday’s 56-48 setback against Williamsville East. After seeing its 19-13 first-quarter lead trimmed to 30-28 at the half, the Lady Trojans had to rally in the fourth quarter – after being outscored in the third, 19-8, to begin the final stanza trailing 47-38 – to make things interesting down the stretch. The Lady Trojans were able to get as close as four points with three minutes to play in regulation, but a three-pointer shortly thereafter allowed the Lady Flames to pull away for good.

“We just came out flat for the second half, and they came out strong, and that just seemed to set the tone for the second half,” Colbert said. “Ultimately, I feel like we shot ourselves in the foot. We had a lot of turnovers early on in the game, and Williamsville East was more than happy to take advantage. We just weren’t playing like ourselves; we weren’t making the best or smartest passes, and we weren’t protecting the ball very well. We made some silly mistakes, and because of that, we couldn’t take advantage of the fact that we held some of their players below their season averages.”

Weiner was once again a force on the court for the Lady Trojans, scoring 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds, six steals, four assists and two blocks. Kumro chipped in with eight points, eight assists, four rebounds and four steals, while Kaufman added seven points and six rebounds. Cenname chipped in with six points, four steals, three assists, two rebounds and two blocks, while Sarah Eisenmenger contributed six points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block.

East (8-1, 3-1 ECIC II) returns to action this evening at Amherst and then begins next week’s slate of games by traveling to Iroquois on Tuesday. The Lady Trojans are eager to resume building positive momentum after the minor hiccup against Williamsville East, but they know at the same time that that will be easier said than done, especially with the talent level of their upcoming opponents.

“We just have to play our game and not lose focus, to just play the way we know how,” Colbert said. “We need to limit our turnovers and play smart basketball in general, and hopefully we can make them turn the ball over with our tough defense. We need to keep finding ways to put points on the board, too.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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