WOODBRIDGE >> Whether Amity wants it or not, the Southern Connecticut Conference’s elite may be circling their game with the Spartans on their schedules this season. With Wednesday’s season opening 67-54 SCC interdivisional triumph over Hillhouse, the Spartans proved they can handle it.
“They’ve worked hard in the offseason, preseason, every day we work them hard,” said Amity coach Michelle Martinik. “I think they’re ready to come out there and show everyone what we’re about.”
Meanwhile, the Academics are ushering in a new core with New Haven Register Top 25 player senior point guard Shyla Osmond, who transferred from Sacred Heart Academy. Hillhouse coach Catrina Hawley-Stewart said her new point guard played well in her first outing. Osmond and Alexis Beene had 12 points apiece.
“Shyla did a really good job leading our team,” the coach said. “The same as the rest of our players, everybody did a really good job.”
However, it wasn’t enough as the Spartans were led in scoring by Chloe Brinton with 15 and two 3-pointers, Janae Graham with 12 and Elise Graham with 11. Rachel Nevolis contributed eight points and made two 3-pointers as well. Brinton said it was a team effort.
“Everyone worked hard together,” she said. “People stepped up when other people didn’t do their best.”
The Spartans nailed five 3-pointers in the game and, after trailing 37-36 at half, outscored the Academics 31-17 in the second half.
“We like to run the ball,” she said. “We just weren’t crisp. The second quarter we didn’t really change anything, we just tightened that up.”
Amity boasts nine seniors this season, and even though Hillhouse jumped out to an early 19-13 lead in the first quarter, Nevolis said the team didn’t panic.
The senior guard is one of the main reasons why, nailing two of the Spartans’ four second quarter triples to put Amity back in the game. She said Martinik told her to be more aggressive offensively.
“That gave the girls energy,” Nevolis said. “It made us play harder.”
After getting a good scare from Hillhouse, Brinton said the Spartans may not want to be the team circled on everyone’s schedule, but they are ready for it.
“I think we can do it,” Brinton said. “I know we can do it.”