PRINCETON — Good teams find a way to respond to bad losses and that is what the Princeton Tigresses did on Thursday night at Prouty Gym.
Princeton, disappointed with their play in the second half against Erie on Tuesday, came out strong against Henry Senachwine and built a 19-point halftime lead before pulling away for a 41-12 victory in the nightcap of the Princeton Holiday Tournament.
The Tigresses (2-1) will play Putnam County in the third-place game at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“We definitely had a lot more fire than we had in the second half Tuesday night,” Princeton coach Kevin Hieronymus said. “We played well in the first half Tuesday night but we lost it in the second half. The girls picked it back up nicely tonight.”
Henry played a zone defense the entire night and Princeton was able to find their offense by swinging the ball around the perimeter and playing a high-low offense with their two post players. The result was a balanced scoring attack with nine of the 11 girls in uniform scoring, led by Zoe Mead and Makenzey Wilson in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
“We had to break out our zone offense and I thought they ran it well,” said Hieronymus. “The key is you have to move the ball in a zone offense and they moved it pretty well. Almost everybody scored and that’s always a plus.”
Princeton’s full court pressure harassed Henry into 10 turnovers and no field goals in the first quarter. The Lady Mallards, who only dressed six players in the game due to a choir contest and injuries, didn’t score their first points until a Caroline Downey free throw with 10 seconds remaining in the first period.
The lead was extended to 24-5 at halftime as sophomore Abby Jaques provided a big lift off the bench with seven points in the final two minutes. Her steal and layup with seven seconds remaining capped a 12-0 run to close out the half.
Mead and Wilson added to the run with the first six points of the third quarter and Wilson’s bucket with 6:30 left in the game started the continuous clock for the majority of the fourth period.
Despite being shorthanded, Hieronymus couldn’t help but credit Henry for playing hard throughout the game.
“They knew they were shorthanded but they kept fighting and didn’t give up. That’s a credit to Kenny (Kuehn) and the girls from Henry,” he said.
Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.