NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The first quarter is all one needed to see on Wednesday night as the New Providence Lady Pioneers were up 22-2 over Arts High School after eight minutes of play. New Providence kept the momentum going for the rest of the game, winning by a score of 62-27.
Kaitlyn Cresencia led a well balanced offensive attack for the Lady Pioneers with 13 points. Laura Gregory finished with 11 and ten other players had at least one basket.
The win sends the team to the third round of the North II, Group I where the Lady Pioneers will play the winner of the Secaucus, High Tech game on Friday.
"As we get deeper in the states we've just got to be more patient on offense," New Providence Head Coach Cap Pazdera said. "At times we take shots… that take us out of the flow, but if we… run the offense the way we can, we'll be tough to beat."
Certainly offense is what has been the driving force behind the Lady Pioneers thus far in the state tournament. They have scored over 60 points in their first two tournament games, mainly due to strong transition play and finding the open player for a high quality scoring chance.
"If we play well and do the right things and makes the right passes we're capable of (scoring a lot of points)," Coach Pazdera said. He also mentioned that his team's strong defense is what leads to many of the Lady Pioneers' offensive opportunities.
Part of the defensive effort for the Lady Pioneers is forcing mistakes from their opponents. Players used a full court press against Arts for much of the first half and forced 24 turnovers in the game, many of them leading to breakout passes for easy lay ups.
Coach Pazdera also said that his Lady Pioneers know how to stop the best players on the teams that they face. Wednesday night, Arts' leading scorer this season, Sydonia Daniels, was held to only 12 points.
Friday's game for the Lady Pioneers is probably going to be a tougher contest than the first two thus far in the state tournament. They will more than likely face Secaucus, the second ranked team in their group and a team that has two 1,000 plus career point scorers.