NHIAA Girls' Basketball: Londonderry starts fast, tops Alvirne
LONDONDERRY - The snowstorm may be coming today, but the avalanche arrived Thursday night.
At least that's how the Alvirne of Hudson girls' basketball team must have felt after being buried by a landslide of fast-break baskets in the first quarter that carried Londonderry to an easy 75-50 win.
It was win No. 597 in the storied career of Lancers coach John Fagula.
Londonderry (10-4) jumped out to a 15-0 lead by holding the Broncos (10-4) scoreless for the first four and half minutes. Aliza Simpson led the way, scoring eight of her game-high 22 points in that run. The junior also finished with nine assists, 16 shy of the school record of 360.
"When she gets off to a good start, it loosens everything up," Fagula said.
After losing its last two games, Fagula said his team's emphasis was on defense, running when the opportunity presented itself and using its size advantage against an Alvirne team missing leading rebounder Britney Lambert.
Check, check and check.
Londonderry ran at every opportunity, scoring 10 points off turnovers in that early and decisive run. The Lancers also shot 7-for-13 from the field and scored seven points on offensive rebounds in that span.
And, while everything was going right for Londonderry, the Broncos were having a hard time just getting into an offensive set as they turned the ball over on seven of their first nine possessions and missed their first eight shots.
"They killed us in that first quarter and the rest of the game was even," Alvirne coach Steve Tracy said. "We can't do that against good teams."
Alvirne finally got on the scoreboard when Veronica Moceri drove the lane with 3:33 left in the first quarter.
Londonderry led 28-8 after one quarter and was up 43-20 at the half. By then, playing time was plenty for all.
Despite going into the game sitting fifth in Division I, ahead of Londonderry, Alvirne has yet to beat a team with a winning record, something Tracy chalks up to a team with only one senior.
"It's part of the maturity process," Tracy said. "We're beating the teams we should. We lost to all four teams above us."
Ten players got into the scorebook for Londonderry, with Casey Evans (14) and Taylor Collins joining Simpson in double-figures. Junior guard Sandi Purcell had 19 points for Alvirne.