NHIAA Girls' Basketball: Pinkerton girls get past CentralBy JOE DUBALL
New Hampshire Union Leader
December 16. 2017 12:51AM
DERRY — Tuesday’s 53-point win was a dream start to the season for the Pinkerton Academy girls’ basketball team. Before even getting a chance to let the win inflate their ego, reality settled in quickly for the Astros Friday.
Pinkerton came away with a 50-27 win over Manchester Central at Hackler Gymnasium, but it took a second-half turnaround for the Astros to overcome an 18-14 halftime deficit. Brooke Kane scored 20 of her game-high 24 points in the second half while the Astros (2-0) held the Little Green (1-1) to seven and two points over the final two quarters.
“It was a lesson we needed,” said Pinkerton coach Lani Buskey of her club’s trials. Pinkerton’s 50 points were just two more than what it collected by halftime on Tuesday. “I just kind of told them that this is not Pinkerton Academy basketball. It wasn’t Pinkerton defense, we were forcing things on the offensive end, taking bad shots and we didn’t look like confident shooters.
“We settled down. I told them it was a whole new half and that they’re a good enough team to react and take this game away.”
Buskey’s negative sentiments about her first-half offense were wiped away by Kane and the Astros over the final 16 minutes. Instead of improvising and playing out of character, Pinkerton got back to cycling through its offense, which went through Kane in the post. The junior forward scored eight points in the third quarter, half of which came consecutively in the middle of an 11-3 run that put Pinkerton on top for the first time since the opening minutes of the game and for the remainder of the contest.
“We really just moved the ball,” Kane said. “We figured out how to run their defense and get around every screen, which they were switching on every time. After getting around that, we chose the right weapons and used stuff like kick-outs to make it all work.”
Amanda Lemire added 13 points. Keltina Francis’ seven points paced Central’s evening.
Using the full complement of its young squad, Central had Pinkerton mystified in the first half. The offensive production was only slightly better for Central in the first half but the Little Green was unfazed by Pinkerton’s full-court defense. The Astros elected to go to half-court defense in the second half.
“We gave up a couple of easy baskets and then just kind of got flustered, and that’s where the inexperience shows,” Central coach Mike Wenners said while crediting Pinkerton for adjusting defensively. “I’ve got three girls that really played last year. Everyone is new otherwise, so this was a overall a very good experience for us tonight.”