O’Malley, Warriors suffocate Warriors
Behind a potent offense and suffocating defense, Montoursville dominated Loyalsock in all aspects on Tuesday night at Loyalsock, winning 43-18.
With sophomore guard Kiersten O’Malley at the helm on offense and defense, the Warriors forced turnovers, took high-percentage shots and crashed the offense glass. Basically, the Montoursville did everything right.
“We have been practicing real hard on just the offense and moving the ball and no dribbling around with no purpose whatsoever,” said Montoursville head coach Kevin Kurtz. “I’m really pleased with how they were able to get through the first option on offense and get to the second and the third.”
Getting to the second and third option wasn’t always necessary, however, as O’Malley used the ball screen beautifully and either took good shots at the basket or found that second or third option for an easy shot attempt.
O’Malley had a hand in over half of her team’s points, scoring a game-high 19 points and dishing out four assists.
“She doesn’t play like a sophomore,” Kurtz said. “She is the engine that keeps things going here. When she goes, we go.”
O’Malley’s impact didn’t stop on offense, though, as she was the head of an intense full-court press that made it difficult for Loyalsock to bring the ball past halfcourt, let alone set up any plays in a half-court set.
With O’Malley at the front of the press, the Warriors forced 22 turnovers, four of which were picked up by O’Malley.
And even when O’Malley was on the bench or away from the ball, other players stepped up – most notably Marissa Hall and McKenzie Ruffing – to play tough defense, grab offensive rebounds and move the ball on offense.
Even without scoring a point, Ruffing had a huge impact on the game, assisting on four baskets to go along with tough defense. Hall scored four points and added three assists.
“They are definitely learning what their roles are on the team and are making good decisions, whether it’s shooting or passing,” Kurtz said. “And McKenzie is one where if you look at the box score over the past few games she isn’t scoring 10 or 15 points, but she is one of our best defensive players out there.”
In a dominating performance that saw the Warriors hold Loyalsock to just seven field goals, the only thing that Montoursville really did wrong was play too unselfishly.
Early on the Warriors passed up good shots in an attempt to get better ones, but spent too much time dribbling and not enough time attacking the rim.
“It’s one of those things that the girls need to know what they are going to do with the ball before they catch it,” Kurtz said. “We are passing up shots right now but they are a team that is maturing through the season.”
After the first quarter, Montoursville attacked the basket, but did so off of strong screens and good cuts to the basket. Twelve of the team’s 17 total baskets were assisted.
Along with taking high percentage shots, the Warriors crashed the offensive boards ruthlessly, often getting second and third looks in one possession.
“Offensive rebounding is one of those things we have got to get better at,” Kurtz said. “We won’t shoot like this every night, and it’s a matter of getting as many shots as we possibly can. We want to get more shots than the other team and make as many as we can.”
Katie Horlacher 0 0-0 0, Kiersten O’Malley 8 1-2 19, Marissa Hall 2 0-0 4, McKenzie Ruffing 0 0-0 0, Carly Mill 3 0-0 6, Kelsey Stine 1 0-2 2, Jordan Harvey 0 0-0 0, Alexis Weisser 1 0-0 2, Kayla Venema 3 0-0 6, Ally Yocum 1 0-0 2, Nicole Weisser 0 2-2 2, Marissa Fox 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 3-6 43.
Taylor Daskivich 1 0-0 2, Allie Pagana 1 0-0 2, Katy Burdett 0 0-0 0, Emma Fox 0 0-0 0, Megan McKernan 1 0-0 3, Sam Pagana 1 1-2 3, Cellina Salvatori 0 0-0 0, Abby Sullivan 3 0-0 8. Totals 7 1-2 18.
Montoursville 8 15 12 8 – 43
Loyalsock 2 4 4 8 18
3-point goals: Montoursville 2 (O’Malley 2), Loyalsock 3 (Sullivan 2, McKernan)