NEW BRITAIN â€• Three-pointers fell from all over the court as New Britain and Plainville each scored nearly half their points from behind the arc Thursday night.
The Hurricanesâ€™ seven threes were the difference in the contest as they won at home over the Blue Devils 43-22. Senior Xandra Silva drilled five shots from long range to lead all scorers with 16 points and guide New Britain to its fourth win in five games.
Playing a full-court defense generated 16 steals for the Hurricanes, who allowed all but two of Plainvilleâ€™s points in the middle quarters while leading 12-2 after one quarter and holding the Blue Devils scoreless in the fourth quarter. Pressuring Plainville in the backcourt set the game speed where New Britain wanted it and kept the Hurricanes in front even when shots were not falling.
â€śOur pressure defense is key for us,â€ť New Britain coach Beryl Piper said. â€śWe had 16 steals and I think that with 16 or 17 steals per game, thatâ€™s something we need to do because it changes the tempo of the game.â€ť
Silva knocked down three of her five triples in the first quarter, which bolstered the Hurricanes offense and gave the team an early lead. The Blue Devils did not convert a field goal in the period and did not get on the scoreboard until the final minute when freshman Marissa Miller made a pair of free throws.
â€śWe were able to drive and kick and just follow our offense,â€ť Silva said. â€śIt was a good job from my teammates just finding the open player and pushing the ball up the court on fast breaks.â€ť
Plainville reached a higher level of play in the second quarter as it started to make shots while New Britain faced issues stretching its lead. Threes from Elyse Brown and Lilly Wazorko helped the Blue Devils cut their deficit in half while the Hurricanes struggled finding scoring opportunities in its half-court offense.
â€śWe calmed down a lot,â€ť Plainville coach Jeff Smedick said. â€śWe started to move the ball a lot better and get all five players involved on each play. Our shot selection was good. What it came down to was they made more shots than we did.â€ť
New Britain entered halftime with a five-point advantage after losing some control of the speed and not matching Plainvilleâ€™s output on offense.
â€śWe stopped hitting and if we donâ€™t hit shots we canâ€™t pressure,â€ť Piper said. â€śWhen we canâ€™t pressure we canâ€™t change the tempo of the game. That was a big difference in the second period.â€ť
The Hurricanes regained its control over the game after halftime as the basket opened up again and they started received scoring contributions from a variety of players. Silva and Mejia each hit threes in the third quarter, but KyeKye Denmark scored four of her eight in the period alongside baskets from Navaeh King and Jamily Carter.
Plainville continued its scoring rhythm from the second quarter, but did not match its defense from before and allowed New Britain to extend its lead back up to 11 points.
The Hurricanes outscored the Blue Devils 12-0 in the final period as New Britainâ€™s defense forced several turnovers that created easy shots on the other end. Plainville struggled getting the ball into the frontcourt late in the contest, which resulted in fewer and more difficult shot attempts.
Up next for the Hurricanes is a trip to Milford on Saturday to face Jonathan Law while the Blue Devils are off until Monday when they travel to Avon.
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com.
NEW BRITAIN 43, PLAINVILLE 22
At New Britain
New Britain 12 5 14 12 - 43
Plainville 2 10 8 0 - 22
NEW BRITAIN: Adrianna Faienza 2-0-4, KyeKye Denmark 3-2-8, Layla Mejia 4-0-10, Navaeh King 1-0-2, Xandra Silva 5-1-16, Jamily Carter 1-1-3. Totals 16-4-43.
PLAINVILLE: Hailey Andersen 2-0-4, Lilly Wazorko 2-0-6, Marissa Miller 0-2-2 Elyse Brown 1-0-3, Sami Thompson 2-1-5, Cassiane Montanez 1-0-2. Totals 8-3-22.
Three-point goals: Silva (NB) 5, Mejia (NB) 2, Wazorko (P) 2, Brown (P).
Records: New Britain 5-6, Plainville 1-12.