CLINTONVILLE — Peru could find no answer for AuSable Valley’s full-court pressure Wednesday.
The Patriots controlled the tempo of the game with their aggressive defense and cruised to a 53-22 victory Wednesday night in girls’ Northern Basketball League play.
“We definitely kept them from running any offensive sets,” AuSable Valley coach Roger Long said. “They did what we designed them to do and (we) put them in an up-tempo game.”
The Patriots half-court offense struggled as well, as the Indians frustrated AuSable with its zone defense.
However, the Patriots dominated on the boards and were able to get second and third-chance opportunities. AuSable Valley outrebounded Peru 44-23 in the game.
“I think their zone bothered us a bit,” Long said. “We did a good job on the glass, (but) didn’t seem to find any mid-range jumpers, and we had a hard time finishing our layups.”
Taylor Saltus and Meghan Strong led the Patriots with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Saltus also added four rebounds, two steals and one assist, while Strong pulled down three boards, had one block and one assist.
The pair lead the Patriots offensively, but Saltus and Strong also did a great job on the Indians most dangerous player, Meghan Mazzella.
“Our game plan was to double (Mazzella),” Long said. “Her strengths are to attack the seems and the basket; (Saltus) and (Snow) did a good job of sagging off her and forcing her to make the pass.”
Mazzella finished with seven points, five rebounds, two steals and one assist, while teammate Maddison Flynn recorded six points, four rebounds and one assist in the game.
Although Wednesday’s match was lopsided, Long felt that his team has a number of things they can work on, which is always expected this early on in the season.
“It’s still early in the season; we don’t want to be peaking right now,” Long said. “I think we had energy (but) right now we have to find ways to get to the basket and shoot better percentage shots.”
AuSable Valley 53, Peru 22
Mazzella 2-4-7, Neenan 1-2-4, Flynn 2-0-6, Remillard 0-0-0, Spear 1-0-2, Laporte 0-0-0, Sheldrick 0-0-0, Allen 0-2-2, McKinney 0-0-0, Scheafer 0-0-0. Totals: 6-8-22
AuSable Valley (53)
Strong 3-0-10, Manning 0-0-0, Saltus 6-0-12, L. Snow 2-2-7, Rondeau 4-1-9, Bourgeios 0-0-0, S. Snow 3-0-6, McCabe 4-0-8. Totals: 23-3-53
Peru 5 4 7 6 — 22
AuSable Valley 6 11 20 16 — 53
3-point goals: Peru (2) Flynn, 2. AuSable Valley (3) Strong 2, L. Snow.