By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON January 25, 2005 Sullivan West found itself facing an early deficit in Friday nights non-league girls basketball game versus visiting Goshen.
Behind the accurate shooting of sophomore guard Kristina Pereira and senior forward Melissa LePore, the Lady Gladiators opened up a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes and 10 seconds of the contest.
However, the Lady Bulldogs did not panic after falling behind. Instead SW stayed with its game plan and rattled off 13 straight points to take a 13-7 lead into the second period.
Kate Fanning scored the first SW basket of the evening. After teammate Heather Lander stole the basketball from a Lady Gladiator at the other end of the court, the Lady Bulldogs quickly ran back towards their basket. Fanning then drained a 15-foot jump shot to make it a 7-2 game with 4:14 remaining in the opening period.
Nine seconds later, freshman forward Sarah Lander scored for SW. Senior forward Autumn Darder then brought the Lady Bulldogs to within a point at 7-6 by scoring a basket inside the lane with 3:00 left in the stanza.
With 2:00 showing on the scoreboard clock, Fanning made a shot to give the Lady Bulldogs their first lead of the game at 8-7.
Sarah Lander swished a 3-point shot from the wing with two seconds left in the first quarter to give SW its aforementioned 13-7 advantage.
SW (8-1) continued its outstanding shooting in the second quarter. The Lady Bulldogs outscored Goshen (3-10) by a 14-8 margin in those eight minutes of play to take a 27-15 lead at halftime.
Fanning netted 10 points in the first half and Sarah Lander recorded nine points in those opening two periods.
The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Gladiators 16-5 in the third quarter to enjoy a 43-22 advantage heading into the final quarter of play.
Sarah Lander finished the evening with a game-high 18 points, while Fanning recorded 17 points. Junior center April Ackermann added eight points, eight rebounds and five assists for SW.
For Goshen, Pereira and Mollie Dermigny each scored a team-high five points.
Sullivan West displayed some really good shooting tonight, Goshen Coach James Polanis said. They played good defense as well.
While noting that SW is a very good team, Polanis praised the members of his team for the way they played.
Im proud of these girls for playing hard the whole game and not giving up, he said.
SW Assistant Coach Kurt Scheibe Jr. noted that going into each game, the Lady Bulldogs want to prevent their opponent from utilizing one of its strengths. Against Goshen, that meant playing very good defense against guard Erin Ortiz, who scored 20 points including five 3-point shots the previous night in a game versus Cornwall. The Lady Bulldogs accomplished that goal, holding Ortiz scoreless in the contest.
We defended very well tonight, SW Coach Ron Bernhardt said.
This is one of the best groups Ive ever had in terms of everyone buying into the team concept, Bernhardt added. As the season moves along, were getting more versatile and were getting more confidence.
The veteran coach also praised the play of Heather Lander. The senior point guard did not have a single turnover in the contest and dished out eight assists. She also got the basketball back for the Lady Bulldogs on eight occasions, either by stealing the ball or by causing a Lady Gladiator to commit a turnover.
It was an awesome display of leadership at the point guard position which had a lot to do with us having success, Bernhardt said of Landers performance.