PLAINVILLE - In a pair of 20-minute halves it didnâ€™t take long for those watching to know who was the better team in the Nutmeg Games 9th grade girls basketball tournament Wednesday night at the Basketball House in Plainville.
The Connecticut Northstars AAU team ran up and down the court against the Bristol Warriors in an easy 59-13 win. Bristol didnâ€™t score in the second half.
â€śItâ€™s a challenge,â€ť Bristol coach Darrell Darby said. â€śFirst and foremost to play AAU you need to be a talented kid and they were very conditioned. What Iâ€™m trying to preach to these kids is they all play high school. Iâ€™m trying to make them learn to be a competitor and I told them after the game to learn what you did wrong in todayâ€™s game and understand what you can do to be better and be better when you get back to high school.â€ť
All of Bristolâ€™s 13 points came in the first half from two players, Skylar Blackinton and Olivia Hergott. Hergott led the team in scoring with seven points and Blackinton had six points off a pair of 3-pointers.
â€śI think we just got tired in the second half,â€ť Blackinton said. â€śIn the first half, it was fresh and new and we were finding open gaps to put up shots and putting up shots is better than not putting up any shots. Lucky for us, some of them landed in the first half.â€ť
Throughout the game Bristol was challenged on the fast break, gave up plenty of offensive rebounds and turned the ball over. The speed of the Northstars was a big difference in the two teams.
â€śI think we were challenged most when we were defending them,â€ť Blackinton said. â€śThey were a fast team and they know how to drive. We were expecting them to be good shooters and I think we need to work on covering the gaps because they definitely found their way into them and it was easy to get their layups.â€ť
Madison Romenello and Jasmine Ramirez combined for 28 of the Northstars 59 points in the game.
It was the first game for either team in this yearâ€™s tournament and Bristol will next play this Friday at 8 p.m. at New Britain High School against the CT Heat (New Britain), another AAU team. Bristol will hope to bounce back but will need an improved showing to do so.
â€śI think we need to work on ball movement and seeing where they defense is at all times,â€ť Blackinton said. â€śWe made sloppy passes so just knowing where we are and where everybody else is at all times is what we need to do. Hopefully Friday weâ€™ll be better.â€ť
Dan Orencole can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org