Both defenses dominated most of the first quarter when Tappan Zee played at Pearl River in a league girls basketball game Friday.
Then Pearl River senior guard Marissa Scognamiglio sparked the Pirates with six points late in the first period and it was only the Dutchies struggling to produce points.
Scognamiglio scored 17 of her game-high 23 points as Pearl Riverbuilt a 21-point halftime lead on the way to a 55-33 victory at home against Tappan Zee.
"I shot pretty well in the first half. That never happens for me," Scognamiglio said. "I was getting a bunch of open layups. I took advantage of the opportunities given."
"She's all over the place," Pearl River Head Coach Lorraine Moylan said. "She's getting steals and deflections. She's handling teh ball. She's getting it to the right person. She does it all."
The Pirates (7-1) once again dominated with their defense, holding the Dutchies to only eight points in the first half and forcing turnovers to spark the offense.
"Pearl River outplayed us and outcoached us in every aspect of the game," Tappan Zee Head Coach Tom Cromer said. "(The pressure defense is) who they are. It's what they do. It's no surprise to us. We just have to be composed. We've got to take care of the ball. We've got to value the basketball. We didn't do that."
Moylan said that forward Jessica Dolan also played a key role in sparking the offense in the first half. She finished the game with 10 points, one of two Pearl River players in double figures.
"I think we took care of the ball better and I think Dolan did a great job on the offensive boards and got a couple of put-backs that really helped us," Moylan said. "She played a strong game. She kept on coming in and doing something really good."
Pearl River again began the game with five guards on the floor. The defensive assignment on Tappan Zee standout Kristen McLaughlin fell to two of them, Sam Alicandri and Amanda DeCourcey. McLaughlin scored six of the Dutchies eight first-half points and finished with 18 for Tappan Zee (4-4).
"We are playing our defense," Moylan said. "Sam did a great job. Amanda had her a little bit. We did a good job helping each other. That's what we have to do. We have to play good D for us to be in it."
Cromer was not as happy with his team's work on the defensive end.
"I told them we have to play better defense," Cromer said. "They (Pearl River) have seven or eight girls who can score. We have to play better team defense. It doesn't matter if it's Missy (Scognamiglio), the girl from Byram Hills or the two or three girls from Albertus. The first six or seven minutes of the game, it was 5-2. It was there, but can we sustain it for an entire game?"