NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – LaNiya Miller does it all for the Piscataway High School varsity girls basketball team.
After scoring a now then-career best 30 points on Wednesday night against Dunellen, the junior forward upped that mark netting a new career-best 33 points Saturday evening as her fourth-seeded Lady Chiefs topped 12th-seeded Old Bridge Knights, 65-50, in the quarterfinals of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament in New Brunswick.
Miller also recorded team-highs of seven rebounds and four assists, with two steals in the game.
“She has really stepped up and she continues to be unselfish while knowing that our offense runs through her,” Piscataway head coach David Kosa told TAPinto Piscataway. “She is such a versatile talent. (She can post) up, take the ball to the basket, and pull up from three, all while leading our team in points, rebounds, assists and steals.”
Piscataway, which split the two matchups with Old Bridge during the regular season with both teams winning on their home court, jumped out to a 19-10 lead after the first quarter and only led 28-26 at the half thanks to the Knights outscoring the Chiefs 16-9 in the second. But, behind Miller and Brooke Moll and Deonna Henry, who both scored 12 points for Piscataway, the Chiefs were able to outscore Old Bridge 37-24 in the second half, including 20-9 in the third quarter to pull away.
“I thought the biggest thing about today’s game was that we executed our offense to perfection,” Kosa said. “We set good screens, moved the ball and kept good spacing, and LaNiya was phenomenal in her decision-making, knowing when to drive or pull up.”
For the offensive execution, however Kosa said they spent some extra time looking at film and correcting their mistakes.
“We really studied the last game tape and saw that we rushed our shots and settled for outside jumpers and stood around a lot,” Kosa said. “We made a concerted effort to run our players and continuously move.”
The Knights were led by Amanda Carney, who finished with a team-high 22 points. Rachel Kuhl added on another 14. Piscataway hung tough on the defensive end and didn’t allow them to get easy shots.
“On the defensive end, we stood steadfast in our 2-3 zone and did a great job communicating on where their shooters were,” Kosa added.
Next up for Piscataway in the semifinals of the GMCT is a date with top-seeded Sayreville on Tuesday in South Brunswick. The Bombers, sporting an incredible 22-2 record, trounced 24th-seed Highland Park, 83-37 in their quarterfinal matchup last night.
Sayreville has a bunch of weapons at their disposal on offense and do a great job creating havoc on the defensive end. Seniors Isi Enahoro and Patrice Harding have 150 and 122 steals respectively so far this season.
Enahoro leads the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game and is also second on the squad with 115 total rebounds. Ryane Brush is right behind her scoring 13.7 per game and Harding is no slouch at 10.7
Kosa offered more insight on his next opponent.
“(They are) very experienced, quick, athletic, can knockdown 3-pointers, and can also take it to the basket,” the coach said. “They press and trap a lot and score in bunches. A lot of their games have been blowouts.”
The major thing that the Chiefs need to do is take care of the ball. If Sayreville is able to do what they do which is cause turnovers and score off those miscues and in transition, it’ll be a long bus ride back to Piscataway.
“We need to control the pace, continue to the play with confidence and shorten the game in the half-court set,” Kosa said.
Miller going for 30 again wouldn't be the worst thing in the world either.
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