NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – John Jay girls basketball coach Matt Gallagher felt his team came out flat against the host team in the opening round of the North Salem Booster Club Tournament on Thursday, Jan. 9.
The resulting 47-40 loss to North Salem solidified his concern that his players were overthinking the game.
“We have to play, attack, move the ball and look for our shot,” Gallagher emphasized before the consolation game on Saturday.
Jumping out to a 9-0 lead against Peekskill two days later showed the Indians got the message. John Jay worked both ends the floor to perfection in the 63-38 rout.
“We need to score so we can get into the press,” Gallagher said. “They came out and they performed.”
Kendall Miller set the tone on both ends with 2 steals, 2 assists and 5 points in the opening quarter. “I try to do all I can to help the team,” said the John Jay center, who had 26 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists on her way to being named All-Tournament.
John Jay was focused defensively. “We put pressure on the players who looked uncomfortable with the ball,” said guard Sarah Pieratti, who had 6 points and 3 assists.
Mia Puccio added 13 points on the afternoon
John Jay started the game on a 24-7 run. At one point, they extended the lead to 29 points, taking a 62-33 advantage on a three by Miller.
“I first line up for my shot and then look to attack the basket,” Miller said. “But if not, I draw two [defenders] and try to kick out. I have faith in my teammate to make the shots.”
Saturday’s win evened John Jay’s record at 5-5. It was a much-needed win for the Indians, who had lost four in a row. They also dropped a 64-47 home game to Somers on Tuesday, Jan. 7.