After bruising back-to-back double overtime games, Sydney Roule got a needed rest Saturday while her team handed Midview a 60-35 Southwestern Conference loss.
The Comets bench had an opportunity to show what it could do and rose to the challenge.
Amherst did start off a bit slowly, falling behind 6-0 as Middies Sara Liszeski and Kaeli Evins both hit for three, giving Midview a quick boost.
“We had two straight double overtime games. We’re pretty beat up and tired. I think that’s a big reason we came out flat, a little lack of energy. Once we got that back we did OK,” said Comets coach Kevin Collins.
“That’s the point we have to get to. We dress a lot of girls and we have a lot who can play at this level, so we want them to play a lot and at the level we expect.”
Comet Audrey McConihe scored a trey followed by a basket from Jayla Hall. Kamryn Dziak put Amherst up 7-6 at the foul line. Midview’s Meghan Newton tied the game up again at 9-9.
Goals by McConihe and Marisa Gillam with two more foul shots from Dziak totaled up the 13 first quarter points for the Comets. Baskets by Evins and Liszeski gave the Middies 14 points to end the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Midview take its final lead of the game. Evins scored all the Middies’ points in the period, cresting with a 21-17 lead over Amherst. A trey by Dziak along with baskets by Faith Lewis and Hall were matched by seven foul shots for the Comets to give Amherst a 27-23 halftime lead.
After the half, the Comets let loose their defensive game, holding the Middies to just six points in the third quarter and forcing 11 turnovers. Amherst’s shooters exploited the opening to drive up their lead.
Led by three treys by Iliff, the Comets scored 18 points. Dziak added a three-pointer and a basket, Hall another of her five hoops in the match, and McConihe shot two-of-two from the foul line.
The 45-30 fourth quarter start was a sufficient cushion for Amherst to burn time off the clock.
The defense kept up the pressure while Hall completed two baskets, Dziak swished a trey, and Iliff and Anna Cairns each scored from the court in the 60-35 win.
Dziak and McConihe, who had nine game points, also scored twice at the penalty line.
The payoff for the defense was that the Middies’ Evins had her only fourth quarter goal, a three-pointer. Evins was the high scorer of the game with 22 points. Teammates Maddy Milano and Adriel Milum scored two and three points from the foul line, respectively.
The three high-scorers for Amherst were Dziak with 18, Hall with 13, and Iliff also in double digits at 11.
“Obviously, with Sydney out that’s a lot of scoring you take off the table. So Kamryn and Kate and Jayla had to pick it up a little bit. I think they did a good job,” Collins said. “They came out aggressive. Their shots weren’t going early but they adjusted and started attacking the rim. That gave them the free throw line, which helped ease us into it a little bit. Then shots started going.”
Photos by Carl Sullenberger | Amherst News-Times Sophomore Audrey McConihe lines up her shot as Midview’s Natalie Maver tries for the ball in Amherst’s 60-35 win. McConihe put up nine points on Saturday.