Pearl River opened Friday's girls basketball game at Clarkstown South with five guards on the floor.
The change worked as the Pirates built a 12-point lead by the end of the first quarter on the way to a 54-38 victory.
"We went small today with five guards," Pearl River senior guard Marissa Scognamiglio said. "We were a little faster and our press executed a little better. We were able to force turnovers early and turn them into layups."
Freshman Jenna Scanlon made a pair of 3-point shots early, three of them in the contest, and finished with 11 points in her first career start. Senior guard Scognamiglio scored eight of her team-leading 12 points in the second half Amanda DeCourcey, Sam Alicandri and Emma Daly each added eight points to help Pearl River improve its record to 4-1.
"The guards are doing well," Pearl River Head Coach Lorraine Moylan said. "That was a different mix and they did a nice job together."
In addition to Scanlon, senior Meaghan DiGiovanni got a start. With top forwards Daly and Jessica Dolan coming off the bench, DiGiovanni drew the assignment of Clarkstown South standout junior forward Laura Castaldo early.
Castaldo managed only two points in the first half as a combination of Pearl River defenders kept her from getting the ball.
"I thought Missy did a great job on (junior guard Madeline) Downes," Moylan said. "Defensively, we disrupted them in the half court and the full court. Amanda (DeCourcey) had a great game, jsut being everywhere, coming up with a big steal when we needed it. Sam (Alicandri) did a great job defending. Meaghan did a great job on Castaldo."
"I think we broke the press pretty decnetly, but once we broke it, we would throw the ball away," Clarkstown South Head Coach Jennifer Chiera-Frank said. "We hurt ourselves (giving up) a lot of second shots. They had 11 seocnd shots just thorugh the second quarter, which hurt us. We weren't going after offensive rebounds or defensive rebounds and they were."
That changed in the second half as Castaldo scored 17 of her game-high 19 points, many of them off offensive rebounds to help spark the Clarkstown South offense. The Vikings (6-3) pulled within 13 points on a three-point play by Allison Haugh late in the third quarter, but the Pirates scored the next six points to regain control.
"I thought South did a good job in the third quarter," Moylan said. "They picked up the defensive intensity. Castaldo, you can't keep off the boards."
"She got second and third looks, which we didn't want," Scognamiglio said. "I guess that's a credit to her. Even though we boxed out, she was able to pull down rebounds."
Haugh scored 10 points for the Vikings before leaving the game with a knee injury in the second half. Chiera-Frank said it may just be a bruise from a knee-to-knee collision, but the extent of the injury was still to be determined.
Editor's note: This report has been updated with reaction and details.