NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ-Coming off a heartbreaking loss to Paterson Kennedy over winter break, the Lady Pioneers bounced back nicely as a balanced New Providence attack paced the home team to a comfortable 51-34 victory over Oak Knoll.
Lead by junior guard Katie Kinum’s 21 points and Hannah Caminiti’s 11, the Lady Pioneers were able to shake off a slow start and take control right before halftime.
“In the first 12 minutes of the game, we weren’t communicating at all and we really struggled rebounding the ball,” head coach Cap Pazdera said. “You have to give them credit as they made almost all of their shots, but we need to do a better job on the defensive end throughout the whole game.”
After a Pazdera timeout as the Royals crept within two, the flip switched for New Providence, as their stifling defense and efficient offense lead to a 31-4 run that put the game out of reach.
One of the major reasons this surge came to be was thanks to junior forward Hannah Caminiti, who played a big part on the defensive end, tallying three blocks and five steals, in addition to five assists.
“Once we started boxing out and pushing it on the fast break, we were really able to get things going on offense,” Caminiti said. “Once our defense started playing well, our offense was able to play much better too.”
“Once we started to move the ball around more, we were really able to get our offense going,” Pazdera said. “Instead of trying to take forced shots, we found the open man and made every possession count.”
The Lady Pioneers never looked back after the half, as they turned a 34-18 halftime lead into a 51-22 advantage after the third quarter.
With the victory, New Providence improves to 4-3 on the season, with two more games this week on the horizon as they try to claim their first three game winning streak of the season.
“We’re focused on Linden tomorrow, but we know the game on Saturday is against our biggest rival and we are really excited for that,” Caminiti said. “Hopefully after Saturday we will have a winning streak going.”
The Lady Pioneers will travel to Linden Tuesday afternoon to take on the Tigers, followed by a showdown against archrival Governor Livingston on Super Saturday.