JAMESTOWN - They still crash the boards with the same fervor, still defend with the same enthusiasm, still run and pass with the same speed and intelligence.
And yes, they still love to launch the 3-pointers.
Though their style of play may not be exactly the same as previous coach Ken Ricker's "System," the key pieces remain; first-year varsity coach Mark Nugent has just adapted it some to better fit his young group of Jamestown Red Raiders.
Photos by Rob?Tucker
At left, Dunkirk’s?Khee Nance (4) shoots over a Jamestown defender during the opening round of the Jamestown United Way Tip-off Tournament . At right, Dunkirk’s Lacey Clark takes a shot.
"We pick and choose (aspects of it)," Nugent explained. "Nobody can coach the system like (Ricker) did. Nobody can. So we just do a little bit here and there, and add in a few different parts as well."
It's an approach that's worked out pretty darn well thus far.
Jamestown, which fired away 31 treys over the course of the game and racked up a whopping 27 steals thanks to a stifling full-court pressure defense, jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first 2 minutes of play on the way to a 64-51 victory over the visiting Dunkirk Lady Marauders in the opening round of the United Way Tip-off Tournament at McElrath Gymnasium on Friday night.
By the end of the opening period, Jamestown led, 30-7.
Karisha Tapia-Carmona (one of just three upperclassmen on a squad populated mainly by sophomores) sparked the impressive first-quarter run by tallying eight of the first 14 points, six of which came thanks to a pair of triples. The senior guard would hit two more 3-pointers over the next three quarters on her way to a team-leading 14 points, seven steals and four assists.
"She's one of our senior leaders," Nugent said, "and we really look to her. She's definitely a great athlete, so we use her a lot and she can be a real spark for us."
Another spark was the defense, which, forced a turnover or made a steal on four of the Lady Marauders' first five offensive possessions.
"We rely on our defense to pick up our offense a little bit," Nugent said. "We started out exactly the way we wanted to."
The same can't quite be said for Dunkirk, though the team did settle in as the game progressed and managed to outscore the Red Raiders, 11-4, in the second frame.
"We came out and it was quickly 30-7, so we definitely came out flat," Dunkirk coach Sarah Bogardus said. "But what I told the girls after the game was that they had every reason to give up, but they fought for the next three quarters. That's huge for us and huge for our program."
Jamestown, despite its subpar second quarter, bounced back in the third as Tapia-Carmona and Annie Campion each hit two shots from beyond the arc while Dazjah Coleman and Chrisanna Green scored down low as part of a four-minute, 16-7 run that pushed the lead to 50-25.
In all, 10 of 12 Jamestown players scored points, and seven of those netted at least six. Along with Tapia-Carmona, Rosa Velazquez had 10 points with six steals and four assists, Green 11 points with 11 rebounds and five steals and Campion six points with eight rebounds.
For Dunkirk, which used a 22-point fourth quarter to cut the deficit, Lacey Clark delivered a solid performance with 19 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks.
"Lacey is the kind of girl that will give you every ounce of energy and heart she has," Bogardus said. "It showed tonight. She was physical, she didn't back down and she was a force on the boards that kept us in the game."
Teammate Khee Nance followed with 17 points, six rebounds and five steals.
Jamestown, now 2-0, will be back on the court today at 7:30 p.m., against Cardinal O'Hara, which defeated Frewsburg in the tournament's earlier contest. Dunkirk will face Frewsburg in the consolation at 6 p.m.