PRINCETON — All the momentum and the score was on the side of the James Monroe girls basketball team going into half time Tuesday night as Megan Boroski hit a three-pointer to cap an 8-0 run.
Out of halftime Princeton responded, holding James Monroe to only 13 points after the break in a 51-38 victory at Coach Ralph Ball Court.
“We spoke heavily at half time, it wasn’t a pretty sight in there but they responded to it,” Princeton head coach Tracy Raban said.
Princeton senior Taylor Scott opened the third quarter with a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 25-23 before a James Monroe three-pointer by Maggie Page extended it to five for what would the Lady Mavericks largest lead of the game.
The Lady Tigers (11-10) picked it up on the defensive end of the floor forcing eight turnovers in the third quarter and 23 for the game.
“That’s our game is the defensive end of the floor and to hold them to 13 points in the second half that’s what we gotta do,” Raban said.
Princeton was able to get into its full-court pressure after made shots which caused problems for James Monroe (8-11) all night. The Lady Mavericks struggled to break the press committing turnovers with the Lady Tigers Laken Dye grabbing four steals.
“I think our defensive pressure was able to pick up the full court pressure and gave us some easy baskets,” Raban said. “Once we get those they get confidence in the half court set so once we go the defensive end of the floor going they were able to convert those easy baskets.”
Back-to-back baskets near the hoop by Dye gave Princeton a lead it would not give up early in the third quarter. Dye scored seven points in the quarter and along with the post play of Lauren Parish combined for 12 of the 15 points by Princeton in the quarter.
Scott who only scored two points in the third quarter finished with 22 for the Lady Tigers while Dye added in 14. Parish chipped in six along with eight from Sadie Boggess.
Neither team could make a shot in the first half combining for 11 field goals but James Monroe found success in the second quarter getting to the free throw line on five occasions.
The Lady Mavericks were down 12-7 at the end of the first quarter but were scrappy in the second quarter.
“James Monroe is a very physical and scrappy team we knew that coming out but I don’t think we matched their intensity the first half,” Raban said.
Boroski hit a pair of three-pointers in the quarter Alydia Thomas drained the go-ahead three-pointer late in the quarter.
The Lady Mavericks were able to find success driving to the basket and either drawing the foul or dishing to a shooter in the corner.
Boroski was the only scorer in double figures for James Monroe with 12 points with Akayla Hughes and Page each chipping in seven. Thomas had seven for the Lady Mavericks.
Scott game out of the gate scoring for the Lady Tigers with a three-pointer for the first points of the game and had seven at the end of one.
“If Taylor’s going we go, we feed off of her. Her being able to put the ball in the basket and when she’s able to do that the rest of us feed off of that so its going to be a big one to replace,” Raban said.
Princeton only made two field goals in the fourth quarter but were able to drawn fouls with Scott sinking all eight of her attempts from the charity stripe.
When James Monroe was able to break the full-court pressure it struggled to get into the post against Princeton. Six of the Lady Mavericks 11 field goals were from behind the three-point line as they could not break the zone.
In the second quarter they were able to break the zone defense with drives to the hoop but the Lady Tigers prevented those from occurring in the second half.
“It’s a matter of if they want to do it or not and I don’t know if they realize how good they can be but I do know how quick we are and we gotta do it on the defensive end of the floor and they realized it and they got woke up at half time,” Raban said.
Although the Lady Tigers were able to come back in this game playing a solid four quarters is needed if the team want to have success in the sectional tournament.
“We’re down to the end of the season here, postseason coming up we gotta be able to put four quarters together,” Raban said.
With Scott being the lone senior on an underclassmen heavy roster Raban is happy that the team is now guaranteed that they will not end the regular season with a losing record.
“They were some bumps in the road where we thought that we could pick up a win here or there but we fought through the adversity so to be where we are at this point with a young group we’re pleased,” Raban said.
Princeton wrapped up their regular season with a home game against Westside with a loss 42-52 ending with a 11-10 record for the year.