BRISTOL - Points were hard to come by for most of the Bristol Eastern girls basketball team Thursday night in its 47-28 win over Platt.
The Lancers had 23 points at halftime, 18 of which were scored by senior Ciara Collins as no one else could find the bottom of the net despite getting good looks at the basket. They finished with all of their points coming from four players behind 29 from and 13 from fellow senior Janessa Gonzalez, who came alive in the fourth quarter.
Ideally, Eastern would like to see a more diverse scoring output going forward, but showed it can survive on the back of its best player and strong defensive adjustments. After exiting the first quarter in an 11-11 tie, the Lancers never let Platt score more than seven points in a quarter for the rest of the game as they built their lead.
“We tried to play a little bit differently than we did in the first half and we put more ball pressure on the guards and that was the big key,” Eastern head coach Tony Floyd said. “We weren’t letting them run their offense. We forced them to do stuff with the ball outside and I thought the kids did a really good job.”
After allowing 13 points to Platt senior Khrystina Campbell in the first half, Eastern altered its defensive approach to slow her down as she was leading her team’s offense similarly to Collins. Shots still continued to drop for her and she closed the contest with 22 points, but she continued to receive no support from her teammates while Gonzalez started finishing shots for the Lancers.
Gonzalez scored four points over the first three quarters and then found a rhythm to the tune of nine points in the fourth quarter. She opened the period by converting an and-one and then continued to make the shots that had primarily evaded her for most of the game.
“She did a really good job inside with her ball fakes and post moves,” Floyd said. “I thought she did a really good job of getting to the basket and scoring.”
Gonzalez was the only player besides Collins to finish with more than one made shot for Eastern and those two will be looked to to take on a large part of the scoring this season with a young and inexperienced supporting cast around them.
The team was without sophomore Emma Stavens for Thursday’s game, but she is expected to be back soon and will bring another scoring threat onto the floor. Along with junior Taigan Parent, who finished with three points against Platt and should be able to make open shots with more regularity going forward after a difficult shooting night, the Lancers have a solid supporting cast around Collins who will always be the focal point of the offense as she works her way up the school’s all-time scoring list with every game.
“It’s definitely nice knowing that we can rely on her and just knowing that there’s somebody there for us,” Gonzalez said. “Even if she’s having a hard time, she’s always going to drive it and dish it out to me.”
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com