Girls Basketball: Kristen Conniff, Bartlett roll by Neuqua Valley
Updated: December 6, 2011 9:32PM
Bartlett’s 6-foot senior guard Kristen Conniff wasn’t concerned when she went to the bench with two early fouls Tuesday against visiting Neuqua Valley
She wasn’t happy about it, but she wasn’t concerned, either.
“I knew I had my teammates to pick me up, to pick up my role while I was on the bench,” Conniff said.
Conniff did not stay bench-ridden for long, and when she returned to the game, she made her presence felt.
Conniff scored 22 points, including a long three-pointer from the key as part of a 19-5 run spanning a five-minute period of the first and second quarters, to lead No. 6 Bartlett to a 69-56 victory over Neuqua Valley.
“When I went back in, I wanted to play smart defense and not make stupid fouls,” Conniff said. “Offensively, I thought we did a nice job of moving the ball and finding the open shooters.”
Haley Videckis added 20 points and Lisa Palmer had 11 points and six rebounds for Bartlett (9-0, 3-0 Upstate Eight Valley), which led by double digits throughout the second half and extended its lead to as many as 24 points late in the third quarter.
“We have a lot of offensive weapons,” Bartlett coach Denise Sarna said. “Every kid can contribute. All five starters and kids off the bench make valuable contributions, and it’s fun to watch how the team shares the basketball.”
That doesn’t mean the Hawks are a finished product, however.
“We have a lot of things to work on,” Sarna said. “We need to tighten up our defense, and I thought we did a better job rebounding in the second half. We have to work hard in practice and we as a staff have to make sure they are prepared.”
Neuqua Valley (6-1, 1-1) got 10 points apiece from 5-6 junior guard Shay Robinson and 5-9 sophomore Najee Smith, and nine points from sophomore Amarah Coleman. Senior Megan Doody was held to three points but added six rebounds and three assists.
“Bartlett is a very good team.” Neuqua Valley coach Mike Williams said. “There’s a reason they are where they are. It’s easy to talk about what you have to do to stop them, and it’s another thing to have to do it. I thought we lost some of our poise and decision-making in the second quarter.
“We are young,” he added. “We have seven sophomores and two juniors. One thing we want to do is to stay reasonably competitive. We will continue to get better.”