BRISTOL - An abundance of missed shots did not impede Bristol Eastern girls basketball from bringing its record up to .500 for the season.
The Lancers overcame its poor shooting night as a team to defeat Platt 47-28 for their second win in a row and third of the season. Senior Ciara Collins was the only Eastern player to consistently make shots for most of the game and notched 29 points while senior Janessa Gonzalez scored 13 and was the only other player on the team to make more than one field goal.
Defense carried the Lancers’ effort Thursday night as Khrystina Campbell scored all but six of Platt’s points. Eastern returns to the court Jan. 18 for a road game against Middletown where the Lancers will need to find success scoring to keep up with one of the top teams in the CCC.
“We were colder than ice in the first half, shots just weren’t going in,” Eastern head coach Tony Floyd said. “It took us so long to get going, until the second half, and just getting second and third shots is something we didn’t do. They did a good job of keeping us to one shot and then getting the ball up the floor. I thought the intensity level wasn’t there in the first half.”
Leading by 10 after three quarters, the Lancers pulled away in the final period when Gonzalez began to put shots through the hoop. She scored nine points in the fourth quarter, highlighted by a difficult layup where she was fouled and then completed the and-one opportunity.
“[We started] driving to the basket and going up for every single rebound whether it was on offense or defense,” Gonzalez said.
Eastern struggled defending Platt senior Campbell on the inside early in the game. She posted 13 points in the first half, evading opposing defenders and finding easy shots near the rim.
The Lancers adjusted after the midway break and held the Panthers to 11 total points in the final two quarters, nine of which were scored by Campbell. They increased their pressure on defense and took control of the rebounding advantage for the game because they knew no one else was a serious scoring threat with Antwanette Tann sitting more than normal because of foul trouble.
“We started to control the boards and I think that was the big thing,” Floyd said. “Even though we weren’t finishing, we started controlling the boards and getting up and down the floor a little bit better.”
Floyd also highlighted the defensive play of sophomore Lauren Ayotte off the bench as an impactful presence against Platt’s forwards.
Both teams started the second half slowly as a single basket from Collins represented the only points scored with fine minutes played in the third quarter. The scoring picked up at the end and Eastern added some points to its lead to hold a 10-point advantage with eight minutes remaining.
Collins finished with 18 points at halftime and scored all of the points outside of one shot in each of the first two quarters. She was the only player consistently finishing shots for the Lancers despite the whole team collectively creating good shot opportunities throughout the game.
“We got good looks, the ball just wasn’t going in tonight,” Floyd said. “I was pleased that they didn’t hang their heads and kept working at it. Then they finally picked it up a little bit, worked a little bit harder and they started to get into rhythm and the ball started falling for us.”
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com