MILFORD — Amity’s Mia Manzione hit the floor under the Law basket looking for a tie up. She got control of the ball and from her knees found Jill Martin open for a 3-pointer. That gave the Spartans a 14-point lead midway through the third quarter.
If this was the only play you had a chance to witness then you would have seen all you needed to know about Amity’s 47-41 SCC victory over Law at the James Richetelli Sr. Memorial Gym on Friday.
Amity is 7-7. Law, winners of 4 of 5, is now 7-5.
— Bill Bloxsom (@blox354) February 1, 2020
Amity played suffocating defense and hit the boards with abandon. Cat Thomas and Abby Eschweiler led a team of rebounders that kept Amity in an attack mode.
“We really focus on team basketball,” Amity coach Michelle Shoop said. “That starts with our defense. We focus on it every day. On offense when you are not hitting, your defense can pull you through.”
Amity was coming off a stretch where it had lost 6 of 7 games since a 50-38 victory over Law on Jan. 7.
Amity lead 25-18 at the half.
“It means a lot, we need two wins to get into the SCCs (playoffs),” said Martin, who scored 21 points. “We needed to work hard for this win and we pulled through. Everyone is working hard, everyone is fighting for it. We want to show what Amity basketball is like and go forward in SCCs and states.”
Shoop said: “Its nice to have her (Martin) for the last four years. She really makes everyone around her better. That is the true telling of a great player. Jill sees the floor well, she can drive and shoot. Defenses have to respect her, then she can find that open person.”
Amity limited Law to three free throws in the third quarter when it opened up a 43-21 advantage. Meghan Smith, Sarah Granados and Meadow Blakeslee took turns exerting pressure on defense and moving the ball quickly on offense.
“It’s all about matchups, especially in the SCC,” Shoop. “Just because I beat you by 20 and someone else beat you by 20 that doesn’t mean we’ll beat you by 40. Its all about matchups and playing tough. We played well (during the skein), we weren’t hitting shots. We are getting back into it.
— Bill Bloxsom (@blox354) February 1, 2020
“Law is a good team, they are well-coached, they rebound hard and you can’t take any plays off. Like you saw, they made a great run at it in the end. This finishes a long road trip (6 of 7) and we get to go home (5 of 6) for the rest of the season.”
Down 22 entering the final frame, Law came back.
Jill Hall scored six of its first eight points. Katie Konareski made a 3-pointer, hit two free throws and than tallied on a runner to get the deficit to 45-34 with three minutes remaining.
Abby Ganun came on to score inside for Amity to end the 13-2 run. Manzione earned the assist.
Konareski (22 points) swished a step-back three, stole the ball and was rewarded with two made freebies Maddie Lula scored off a rebound to get within the final score of 47-41 before time ran out.
“The fourth quarter is the only redeeming thing tonight,” Law coach Dan Young said. “One of the things we talked about before the game is that you have to be desperate. In sports, desperation can be a good thing. We didn’t play desperate until the fourth quarter. There was a different energy you saw in the fourth quarter…the others not enough.
“We’re 7-5 now. We have six SCC wins. We have a big week. We have Lyman Hall, Guilford and East Haven (10-5) again. I’m sure they (East Haven) will be looking to get a little payback on us (Law won 48-46 on Jan. 17). We have three games a week the rest of the way, so we have to get ready.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Amity’s Jill Martin scored 21 points. But the senior is much more than a scoring machine. Her ability to attack the basket with hoop smarts, allows her to kick it to the wing. Martin is just as dangerous shooting off the dribble or stepping into a shot.
“We really focus on team basketball. That starts with our defense. We focus on it every day. On offense when you are not hitting, your defense can pull you through.” — Amity coach Michelle Shoop
AMITY 47, LAW 41
AMITY (7-7): Jill Martin 8 2-4 21, Cat Thomas 1 0-0 2, Megan Smith 0 5-6 5, Jane Whitman 3 0-0 7, Mia Manzione 4 0-0 8 Ganun 1 0-0 2, Sarah Grenandos 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 7-10 47
LAW (7-5): Katie Konareski 7 6-6 22, Shelby Green 0 0-0 0, Maddie Lula 1 2-2 4, Liv Kowalski 1 0-0 2. Jill Hall 4 0-3 8, Mariyah Reid 2 1-2 5. Totals: 15 9-13 41
LAW 10 8 3 20 — 41
AMITY 17 8 18 4 — 47
Three-pointers: Amity — Jill Martin 3, Jayne Whitman 1; Law —Katie Konareski 2