Nikki Petri scored three consecutive baskets to give Clarkstown North a one-point lead early in Wednesday's game at Pearl River.
"We came out flat the first two or three minutes, but we looked at the scoreboard and we were down by one. We said this can't happen," Pearl River senior guard Missy Scognamiglio said. "We came out of a time out and picked it up on defense and got a lot of shots from that."
Pearl River's defense sparked a 24-2 run that put the Pirates in control on the way to a 59-34 victory.
"I think we have pretty good leadership," Pearl River Head Coach Lorraine Moylan said. "I think we played pretty hard. We forced some turnovers and that helped us get a bit of an edge. They are not a bad team. They have some strong players. They had a hard time getting into their offense."
Pearl River improved its record to 3-0 with the same formula that worked in the first two games, forcing turnovers defensively and scoring in transition. The Pirates were able to force the Rams (1-5) into a faster tempo than they wanted to play.
"Their goal is to have you turn the ball over and get you playing at a tempo you are not comfortable with," Clarkstown North Head Coach Kerry Sullivan said. "We were being careless and making errant passes.
"Pearl River establishes their defense first. You can practice it, but you can't imitate them."
Junior guard Sam Alicandri led four scorers in double figures with 12 points, making a couple of 3-point shots and doing the rest of her damage attacking the basket.
"Sam is playing much more confidently," Moylan said. "She is palying much, much better. She could always do it."
Alicandri came off the bench as a sophomore, but she moved into the starting lineup this season.
"I have more confidence this year knowing I'm going to be out there more," Alicandri said. "I have more confidence in my shot. They will get me the ball and expect me to do something with it."
Freshman Lauren Gallagher came off the bench to score 11 points. Scognamiglio and senior guard Amanda DeCourcey each scored 10.
"I think we got balance from everybody," Moylan said. "I think that's how we have to be."
Petri led Clarkstown North with 12 points and Gabrielle Jarrett added 11.
"It's inexperience tied with not having that patience," Sullivan said of the Rams' struggles. "It's something that will come for us eventually. It's a hard lesson to learn in a game."