Normally, if a basketball team's premier player goes off for 34 points in a game that team will have little trouble winning. However, sometimes 34 points just isn't enough.
That was how it went for Williamsport's Jaynelle Robinson on Monday, as the Millionaires fell to Danville, 68-56 at home, despite a tremendous effort from their sophomore center.
Just two minutes into the game, and it was already obvious what Williamsport's offensive game plan was going to be - feed Robinson the ball. Three trips up the court, three passes inside to No. 35, three lay-up field goals. It was a simple formula, and it was working well as the Millionaires established a 22-14 lead by the end of the first quarter, behind 13 points from Robinson.
Jaynelle Robinson of Williamsport shoots as Nicole Renz of Danville defends Monday at Williamsport. View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com.
Robinson had provided her team with a cushion, and she had done it almost single-handedly. But as the game played on, she wasn't able to score enough to keep up with a Danville team that playing together as a unit. The Ironmen picked up their intensity in the game's remaining three quarters, while Williamsport's momentum deteriorated.
"They came out and played hard, and we just played the first quarter and took the other three off," Williamsport head coach Derek Slaughter said.
"Hustle, effort, and lack of defensive communication hurt us," said Slaughter. "I don't think we executed defensively or offensively, but the main thing was our energy."
In order to contain Robinson, Danville began to double-cover her from both the front and back, which worked with some success. But it wasn't until Danville's tallest player, Maddie Moro, was brought in off the bench in the second half that the team seemed comfortable playing against the 6-foot-3 center.
Those adjustments helped hold Robinson to 14 points in the second half, which wasn't ideal for the Ironmen, but was enough for them to play catch-up.
"(Robinson) is very effective," Danville head coach Steve Moser said. "We really didn't have an answer for her, but we at least helped make things tougher for her. She is a force to be reckoned with."
After Robinson slowed, Williamsport's offensive game shifted to its guards on the outside, which didn't play into its favor. The team shot 0-9 from three-point range, with only one player on the team other than Robinson scoring more than two points.
"We should have gone inside the whole time, because every time (Jaynelle) touched the ball we scored almost," Slaughter said. "So we will have to continue to go to her and play inside-out."
Offensively, Danville was helped greatly by its ability to draw fouls, and capitalize on free-throw attempts, scoring 29 points from the line. They were also able to spread the scoring around a little more than the Millionaires, with seven players earning four points or more.
Amber Renz continued the phenomenal season she has had for the Ironmen this year, accumulating 30 of the teams total points.
Paige Harris 3 4-6 10; Maria Mutchler 0 0-0 0; Becca Alberti 0 0-0 0; Sara Naessig 3 0-2 6; Zina Knight 0 0-0 0; Lauren Campbell 1 3-5 5; Alexandra Berg 1 5-6 7; Erica Heath 1 2-2 4; Liz Pavis 3 0-0 6; Maddie Morrow 1 0-0 2; Amber Renz 7 16-23 30. Totals 19 30-44 68
Myeesha Peterson 1 0-0 2; Tauntyonah Guinter 0 0-0 0; Jaid Harsch 0 0-0 0 ; Nicole Cillo 0 0-0 0; Amy Southard 1 0-0 2; Chloe Jennings 0 2-6 2; Montana Lewis 0 0-0 0; Lydia Whaley 0 2-4 2; Olivia Erb 1 1-1 3; Jaynelle Robinson 15 2-5 34; Jahnae Hall-Gaddy 7 0-0 14. Totals 32 7-16 56
Danville14 19 19 16 - 68
Williamsport 22 9 14 11 - 56