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* Watch this game in its entirety on Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m. on MSG Varsity (iO CH 14) *
HARRISON, N.Y. — In the third quarter of Greeley's game against Harrison on Wednesday, the Huskies decided to slough off Quakers junior center Lindsay Hill.
It was a decision the Huskies would ultimately regret.
Hill, who found a soft spot in the middle of Harrison's defense, buried 10 of her game-high 16 points during the decisive third quarter as the Quakers (6-3) cruised to a convincing 56-46 win.
“Harrison played a defense where they were leaving our center wide open,” Greeley coach John Alkalay said. “They were playing man with one down in the paint. We set it up so that Lindsey Hill hit five jumpers. They weren't guarding her.”
Like Reggie Miller in the zone, Hill was nearly automatic, knocking down five of her six shot attempts in the third.
“I wasn't really doing too well in the beginning of the game,” said Hill, who notched just four first-half points. “And then at halftime I really turned up the heat and zoned in on knocking down my shots. That was killer in the third quarter.”
It certainly put the final nail in Harrison's coffin. Greeley outscored the Huskies (4-3) 17-8 in the third to grab a commanding 47-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
For Hill, who also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, it was another promising performances in what has been a breakout 2011-12 season. She also dropped a career-high 18 points in a loss to Ossining earlier in the season.
“(Hill) is getting better with every game,” Alkalay said. “She's progressed from being freshman and hardly playing to last year being a starter but more of a role player to this year being a starter and expected to score, rebound and guard the opposition’s top big player. She's done a great job.”
So, too, has senior point guard Jackie Brett, who filled up the stat sheet with 11 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Brett scored six of her points in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.
“(Brett) didn't score much today, but she was dishing and got our kids multiple layups when she penetrated,” Alkalay said.
Teammates Tori Ganzi (10 points), Samantha Srinivasan (6 points, 6 rebounds), Issy Berkey (3 points, 4 rebounds) and Andi Srinivasan (4 points) benefited from Brett's unselfish.
Srinivasan, a sophomore forward, and Picker, a senior guard, each scored four first-quarter points to help the Quakers grab a 13-6 lead heading into the second quarter.
To its credit, Harrison battled back in the second quarter, outscoring Greeley 18-17 to trim the deficit to 30-24 at the half. Eighth-grade sensation Gia Mancini exploded for eight of her team-high 15 points during the stretch, sinking all four of her free throw attempts. Mancini showed a penchant for getting to the line throughout, going 9-for-13 from the charity stripe. As a team, however, the Huskies converted just 15-of-24 free throws.
Harrison also got contributions from Jenna Webb (9 points, 4 rebounds), Shawn Caparelli (5 points, 8 rebounds), Ashley Eklund (8 points, 7 rebounds) and Jordan Valentzas (6 points, 4 rebounds).
But the Huskies' offensive prowess was short-lived. Greeley — which held Mancini scoreless during the third quarter — tightened the screws on defense at halftime and immediately extinguished the flames.
“We switched into our man defense in the second half,” Hill said. “In the first half, we were playing a 1-2-1 zone and that wasn't working too well. We switched to man and that really helped out.”
And it didn't hurt having a sharp-shooting center in the zone, either.
GAME NOTES: Greeley face host Fox Lane in its next game on Friday at 7 p.m. Harrison will travel to Rye for a rivalry showdown on Friday at 7 p.m. … Greeley — which also defeated Harrison back on Dec. 15 — will look to make it three in a row when the two teams meet for the third and final time on Jan. 20 at Greeley HS.
Greeley 13 17 17 9 56
Harrison 6 18 8 14 46
GREELEY INDIVIDUAL/TEAM STATS
Issy Berkey: 3 points, 4 rebounds
Andi Picker: 4 points
Lindsay Hill: 16 points, 10 rebounds
Jackie Brett: 11 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds
Samantha Srinivasan: 6 points, 6 rebounds
Maura Grant: 3 points
Molly Gonzalez: 3 points, 4 rebounds
Tori Ganzi: 10 points, 2 3-pointers
FG: 24/55 | 3PT FG: 5/12 | FT: 3/10
HARRISON INDIVIDUAL/TEAM STATS
Paige Brabant: 1 rebound
Jordan Valentzas: 6 points, 4 rebounds
Samantha Russo: 1 point, 3 rebounds
Ashley Eklund: 8 points, 7 rebounds
Shawn Caparelli: 5 points, 8 rebounds
Gia Mancini: 15 points, 1 rebound
Alyx Scapperotti: 2 points
Jenna Webb: 9 points, 4 rebounds
FG: 13/46 | 3PT FG: 5/18 | FT: 15/24
Email Isaac Cass at Icass@cablevision.com | Follow him on Twitter @MSGV_Icass