Balanced scoring and a stifling defense led the girl’s basketball team to a victory on Friday night over Willingboro 56-39.
Cinnaminson moves to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot with the win. Willingboro falls to 1-7 overall and 0-3 in the Patriot.
“Defense plays a big role in every game,” Anne O’Malley said. “It’s all about just playing good defense that gets you the points.”
“It gets the momentum going and everyone gets more into it. It’s more fun when our defense plays like that.”
Friday night was the first time this season that scoring leader Fiona Flynn did not record double digits in points, but it did not matter, as the Pirates received offense from all over the court.
“I think there’s a chance that this year we might be tougher to defend than we were last year,” head coach Bret Jenkins said.
“Obviously (Marisa) DiLeo was huge for us last year, but it’s good. You’d love to have a superstar, but this might make us a little more dangerous or tougher to play. The game plan last year would be to take her out of it. Now, we have multiple options.”
Sophomore Maddie Parrish led the way with 11 points (9 from beyond the arc). She was joined in the double digit club by O’Malley (10), Kelly Kane (10) and Maddie Ogden (10).
“It’s really nice having people on and off the bench score,” O’Malley said. “We have so many girls who can shoot. It’s why our season so far is pretty successful. We are a really well rounded team.”
The Chimeras leading scorer on the season, Jasmine Fitzpatrick, controlled the offense for Willingboro with 25 points in the loss, while Nitaya Dingle added eight.
The Pirates got off to a strong start, leading 12-7 after one and employed their press defense for the majority of the game.
“They are athletes, mostly soccer players, and that’s their environment; running around the field or court,” Jenkins said.
“They see that it can generate some offense. In a half court offense, it’s a little tougher to score. You get a steal off a fastbreak and your chances to score skyrocket and I think they see that.”
A 32-24 lead at halftime would balloon in the third quarter when Cinnaminson outscored Willingboro 10-2 to take a 42-26 lead into the fourth.
Willingboro’s offense struggled mightily for almost the first four minutes of the fourth quarter as it failed to score.
“We have some games coming up that are going to go down to the wire,” Jenkins said. “We can go four, five, six or seven scorers deep. We don’t have to rely on the top three scorers.”
“I think it’s really going to benefit late in games, the real close ones, that we are going to have coming up in the next couple weeks. It just makes us harder to defend.”
Willingboro added some late buckets to pull the final score to 56-39 after Cinnaminson led by as many as 25 in the fourth.
Girl’s basketball returns to the court on Tuesday, January 10 at home against division rival Delran at 5:30pm.
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