BRISTOL - Despite leading Lewis Mills by 15 points at halftime, Bristol Eastern head girls basketball coach Tony Floyd was displeased with the way his team played in the first two quarters.
The Lancers scored consistently before halftime, with 18 points in each quarter, but Floyd didn’t think his team was playing its style of basketball.
“He told us to attack the basket more, me and Ciara [Collins],” senior Jordan Ouellette said. “He told us to play some better defense, because they were scoring more than we would have liked them to.”
Eastern was a different team when it exited the locker room. It scored 40 points in the second half, including 18 from Ouellette, who was able to find open space in the Spartans’ defense throughout the game.
“For the third quarter, I think we realized that we needed to get up and down the court and get in transition,” senior Avery Arbuckle said. “Once we got into the roll of things we were able to get easy layups coming down the court because of our leaking and they weren’t getting back on defense. That’s what really put them in the hole.”
The Lancers moved incredibly well without the ball in the second half. They consistently ran a play that overloaded one side of the court with players to free up one player under the basket on a backdoor cut. Ouellette was the main beneficiary of many wide open layups as a result of this play.
“We came out, we really pushed the ball, got in transition, got in our secondary break and did a really good job in our halfcourt game,” Floyd said. “I thought our flex cuts were good and I thought the kids did a nice job of making hard cuts to get open. Especially when we have overloads and we reverse the ball we had some great openings and cuts. The kids reacted to the defense and looked for the open space on the floor. I thought the guards outside moved the ball really well.”
Four Eastern players scored double-digit points Thursday night, including 24 from Ouellette and 18 from Ciara Collins, who scored 10 after halftime. Collins notched 10 of her points in the second half, including two 3-pointers created by strong ball movement.
“Cali [Doyon], Ciara [Collins] and Jordan [Ouellette] did a nice job working the ball on the outside perimeter. I thought Sage [Scarritt] and Arbuckle did a really good job seeing each other and making those nice shots. We converted on some nice give-and-go plays,” Floyd said.
“We used the high post, our inside people did a really good job cutting, they finished inside. They reversed the ball very well and got open shots on the wings and I think that was a key. We also did a good job on the boards, too. I think rebounding was a really big key, we were able to get in transition because of our rebounding. I thought we focused harder in the second half.”
With two games remaining in their regular season, the Lancers will look to find that type of offensive performance every time they take the court going forward.
They face city rival Bristol Central and East Catholic (13-4, first in the CCC East) on consecutive days before entering the postseason. Winning both would complete a 13-game winning streak.