NHIAA Basketball: Pinkerton girls answer the bell, top rival Londonderry
DERRY - Even though the Pinkerton Academy girls' basketball team entered Friday night's matchup against rival Londonderry with a 12-0 record, the Astros had yet to play any team widely considered to be a contender for this year's Division I championship.
For that reason, and because an injury prevented Pinkerton point guard Sam Breslin from suiting up Friday, many considered the Astros to be the underdogs in Friday's contest. So it's probably safe to say more than a few people were surprised at how things unfolded at Pinkerton's Hackler Gymnasium.
Pinkerton scored the game's first 10 points and never trailed en route to an easier-than-expected 55-44 victory.
"This was the first top-four team we've had to play, so I told our girls it was going to be a tough game," Pinkerton coach John Barry said. "This was a very pleasant result."
Pinkerton guard Colleen Fortier led all scorers with 21 points. That total included four 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Valerie Martin added 17 for the Astros, who led 12-8 after one quarter, 22-14 at halftime and 36-29 after three quarters.
Breslin, Pinkerton's leading scorer and leading rebounder, missed the game because of injuries suffered in what Barry called a "minor car accident" earlier this week. Breslin is the only senior on the roster. Barry said he is uncertain when Breslin will return.
"Without her, I assumed they would struggle a little more with who was going to run the show because of the way she settles things down for them," Londonderry coach John Fagula said. "They didn't seem to miss her. I was surprised."
Aliza Simpson and Jordan Marett each scored a team-high 11 points for Londonderry, which slipped to 9-3. The Lancers never got closer than four points after the first quarter.?"We had some girls forcing things instead of letting the game come to them," Fagula said. "And then it was matchups. I didn't play many of my big kids because they have five guards out there who can all shoot the ball from the perimeter and who can all put it on the floor and go by you."
Barry said he told his girls to keep the victory in perspective.
"After the game I told them not to get too excited," he said. "We made a lot of mistakes and we still have a lot of work to do."