02/22/03 Penfield cruises into semifinals
|A 24-2 run
pushes Patriots past Brockport in 'AA' quarters
By Jeff Diveronica
Democrat and Chronicle
(February 22, 2003) — PENFIELD — Thirty-two minutes.
That’s the length of a regulation high school basketball game. It’s also
what the Penfield girls basketball team has talked about all season.
“We’ve really been concentrating on 32 minutes of being all intense, all
the time,” guard-forward Ashley McMillen said.
The third-seeded Patriots turned in such an effort on Friday night,
burying No. 6 Brockport 58-35 in a Section V Class AA Tournament
quarterfinal game that many expected to be a lot closer.
Penfield (17-4) beat the Blue Devils (10-11) by seven and five points in
their Monroe County Division I regular-season games.
But a smart, sagging defense negated
Brockport’s size advantage.
Penfield’s Alyssa Nugent (21) shields
Brockport’s Gabrielle Boley from the basketball during their Section V
Class AA quarterfinal on Friday night.
The Patriots’ superior quickness also helped
force 23 turnovers, and a devastating 24-2 surge that bridged the second and
third quarters knocked out the Blue Devils.
It turned a 21-15 lead into a 45-17 cushion and was highlighted by McMillen’s
eight straight points to open the second half. The versatile senior and junior
point guard Danielle Graunke each scored 16 points for Penfield.
The Patriots will need another complete game in Tuesday’s semifinals at
Webster Schroeder. The Patriots play at 6 p.m. against No. 2 Greece Athena
(18-3), which won its Feb. 8 meeting 57-55 in overtime. That was one of those
games in which Penfield failed to close the deal.
It led by three points with 1.3 seconds left in regulation and Athena had the
length of the floor to go. But Katie Pauly’s inbounds pass to near halfcourt
found its way into the hands of teammate Lyndsey Gallina. Her 3-point prayer
from 35 feet beat the buzzer and banked in to force OT.
“It was pretty amazing,” Penfield coach Mark Vogt said.
There was no such drama Friday. After an 11-day layoff, he was worried his
team would come out flat.
“But the kids were loose, they were focused,” he said. “Ashley’s just a
tremendous leader. She knows how to get the girls going and they listen to her
and respect her.”
They also followed a three-page scouting report to the letter. The Patriots
flooded the lane so 6-foot sophomore Gabrielle Boley and 6-1 junior Jennifer
Leasure didn’t have room to operate. Penfield predominantly played a
collapsing 2-3 zone but mixed in some man-to-man.
“Kayleigh Duda did a great job helping on Boley,” the 6-foot McMillen said of
the 5-9 Duda, a freshman who scored 11 points and added six steals.
Alyssa Nugent, a 6-foot junior, also helped down low and Brockport couldn’t
buy a basket from the perimeter to loosen Penfield’s defense. It made just 3
of 17 shots in the second quarter.
“They just sit in the paint. It’s not really a box-and-one (defense),” coach
Kathy Boughton said. “You try to run a man offense or a zone offense and