AMHERST — Defense got the Amherst offense into high gear Thursday night and the Lady Comets rolled to a 53-28 victory over Midview.
It came in the second game of the annual Comet Invitational tournament and sends Amherst into tonight’s 7:30 championship game with St. Joseph Academy. The Jaguars hung on for a 53-49 win over Ashtabula Lakeside in Thursday’s opener. Midview (4-5) and Lakeside (2-6) square off in the 6:30 p.m. consolation game.
Amherst (6-3)took a 12-3 lead on Midview midway through the first quarter and was never seriously threatened. Two seniors starred for the Comets. They got a big defensive job from guard Brittany Cruz and a game-high 16 points from forward Bridget Beury.
“We’ve had a lot of alumni back at practice this week and that’s a lot tougher competition,” said Cruz. “We just seemed to come out and play harder. We took what we did in practice and played like that in the game. This is probably the best we’ve played defensively, holding them to 28 points.”
Beury said she wasn’t the only Comet who did well.
“We had the momentum and everybody was doing everything right,” Beury said. “The defense sprung up the offense. Like Brittany said, we’ve been playing against college people all week and that helped us a lot.”
Not only did the Amherst defense hold the Middies to 28 total points, it held them to single-digit scoring in every quarter. It also created easy scoring opportunities for the Comets, who shot more than 50 percent from the field and allowed them to control the backboards, 32-27. Amherst turned in a 16-5 second quarter for a 31-12 halftime lead. In short, the Comets could have stopped shooting at the break and won.
“We’re not an offensive juggernaut by any means,” said Comets coach John Rositano. “Our defense generates a lot of offense and we took away a lot of the things they wanted to do offensively. We made them force a lot of shots, and that takes a lot of pressure off you. We still have a ways to go, but I see improvement.”
“They play a tough pressure defense and they bring it every game,” Midview coach Kim Kauffman said of the Comets. “If you don’t bring your ‘A’ game on offense, you’re going to lose. We totally lost our composure and you saw what happened as a result of that. That’s what they’re known for. You have to handle it or you’re going to lose.”
The Middies (4-5) had no one in double figures, although Jacki Street scored nine points and Megan Snow followed with eight. They also had a strong effort from Lauren Gauvreau, who scored only two foul shots, but did well defensively.
“We look at ‘Gauv’ for a lot on defense and she really has that intensity,” Kauffman said. “You hope that it fires the rest of the team up. She’s a lot more sure of herself; she’s come a long way.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135
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Amherst 53, Midview 28
MIDVIEW (28): Gina Laufman 0-0-0, Lauren Gauvreau 0-2-2, Megan Snow 3-2-8, Jacki Street 3-3-9, Janie Rauscher 0-0-0, Hannah Duran 0-1-1, Danielle Szpak 0-0-0, Annie Harder 1-1-3, Kelsey Voit 2-1-5, Kaylee Cromling 0-0-0. Totals: 9-10-28.
AMHERST (53): Ashley Aponte 5-0-12, Melanie Tony 1-0-2, Jenna Rositano 0-0-0, Brittany Cruz 1-0-3, Lizzie Soto 1-0-2, Angie Pellittiri 0-0-0, Bridgette Cruz 0-1-1, Olivia sliman 2-0-4, Miranda Szucs 1-0-2, Courtney Jarvis 4-3-11, Bridget Beury 7-2-16, Melissa Partyke 0-0-0, Marissa Thomas 0-0-0. Totals 22-6-53.
Midview 7 5 8 8 — 28
Amherst 15 16 12 10 — 53
Three-point goals: Midview 0-5; Amherst 3-6 (Aponte 2, Brit. Cruz). Field goals: Midview 9-44 (20.5 percent); Amherst 22-42 (52.4 percent). Free throws: Midview 10-17; Amherst 6-12. Rebounds: Midview 25; Amherst 32. Turnovers: Midview 16; Amherst 20. Fouled out: Duran.
St. Joseph 53, Lakeside 49
LAKESIDE (49): Adrianna Morris 0-0-0, Taylor Pugliese 3-6-13, Jessica Kaydo 1-0-2, Azaria Lee 1-0-2, Miranda Newsome 4-0-8, Darrah Smith 7-3-18, Chyni Coleman 2-2-6. Totals: 18-11-49.
ST. JOSEPH (53): Bridget Urban 0-0-0, Gabby Kreuz 0-0-0, Molly Lehane 5-4-16, Therese Greco 0-0-0, Claire Guzik 0-0-0, Teresa Mangan 1-2-4, Donna Friedman 0-0-0, Maggie Berry 8-0-19, Eleanor Hilow 1-0-2, Samantha Sulzer 3-3-9, Caitlin Kahler 1-1-3, Maura Heffernan 1-1-3, Leighann Larsen 0-0-0. Totals: 19-10-53.
Lakeside 6 18 11 14 — 49
St. Joseph 15 13 11 14 — 53
Three-point goals: Lakeside 2-20 (Pugliese, Smith); St. Joseph 5-16 (Berry 3, Lehane 2).. Field goals: Lakeside 18-53 (34 percent); St. Joseph 19-55 (34.6 percent). Free throws: Lakeside 11-19; St. Joseph 5-16. Rebounds: Lakeside 52; St. Joseph 43. Turnovers: Lakeside 20; St. Joseph 9.