Wallkill girls stop cold-shooting Spackenkill
WALLKILL – Sure, the Wallkill High School girls’ basketball team is the defending Section Nine, Class A champions, as well as the defending Mid-Hudson Athletic League champ.
Sure, there’s a lot of experience back.
Sure, the Panthers played solid defense on Wednesday night at home against Spackenkill.
As much as all those things, though, one other thing was for sure – the visiting Spartans were just completely out of sync, making just three field goals in the first three quarters as Wallkill rolled to a 41-27 MHAL victory.
Lisa Bouffard had a game-high 12 points for Wallkill as the Panthers improved to 7-3 overall. The Spartans, who came off a big win against Franklin D. Roosevelt on Tuesday night, dropped to 6-5 as Seana Tully had 10 points.
“Wallkill is a good team. I thought we struggled with turnovers in the first quarter and we just couldn’t find a rhythm,” Spackenkill coach Don Niese said. “We came off the game (against Roosevelt) so I’m not sure if we were tired or what.”
You don’t often see two varsity teams play to a 6-3 first quarter – unless it’s football – but that’s what happened as both teams struggled in the opening eight minutes. Spackenkill had a whopping 10 of its 24 turnovers in the opening period, and didn’t score a point until Anna Thompson knocked down a three-point with four seconds left.
Tully immediately opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, but that was to be it from the floor. Only an 8-for-11 performance from the free throw line in the second period kept the Spartans in it as Wallkill took an 18-14 lead at the half.
“I think we were trying to move too fast and go 100 miles an hour,” Bouffard said. “We slowed it down and we played defense much better. We put pressure on the top and it’s hard for teams to throw it over our players. We’re long out on the top.”
Spackenkill’s woes continued in the third quarter as the Spartans yet again made just one field goal over the eight-minute span. In the meantime, Bouffard and Bridget McKeever (10 points) were controlling the middle for Wallkill, and an 11-0 run helped open a 29-16 lead.
The Spartans were just 3-for-28 from the field through three quarters – one bucket per period – and finished the game 6-for-43, just 14% from the floor.