Bennett’s Late Trey Sends Red Raiders To Win
On the night Jamestown chose to honor the senior members of its girls basketball team, it was fitting that Kaitlyn Bennett would be the one to cap off a second-half comeback for the Red Raiders.
After trailing by as many as 13 early on, the senior guard was able to take advantage of a clean pass from Allie Stockwell with under a minute left to play and fire home a 3-pointer to give her team a 44-42 win over Frontier in ECIC Division 1 play inside McElrath Gymnasium on Monday evening.
The victory squared the season series between the two teams and pushed Jamestown to an overall mark of 10-9 and a 7-4 record in league play, while the Falcons now sit at 8-10 overall and 6-5 against league opponents.
While it was Bennett’s shot that sealed the deal for Jamestown, the Red Raiders were able to rely on a well-balanced night of offense to mount their comeback while a pair of steals in the last two minutes of play from Macey Lundmark were able to swing the momentum fully in favor of the hosts.
“She’s always found good ways to get in the passing lane and she did a really good job there,” Jamestown coach Tim Anderson said of Lundmark, “and then to get into the lane and get Kate that shot in the corner and for Kate to just be solid and not get down. She hadn’t been shooting the ball well all game. She’s always a shooter and she’s going to keep shooting no matter what and she knocked down the biggest shot of the game.”
Shortly before Lundmark put her defensive tenacity on display, the junior was able to hit a trey and then finish off a pair of makes at the foul line to give Jamestown its first lead of the night at 40-39.
The Eagles would not go away quietly however, as Alex Bevilacqua responded with a 3 of her own on her only bucket of the night to give Frontier the lead back before succumbing to turnovers in the next two possessions.
“The key to the game offensively was us starting to be aggressive, we were very passive in the first half, and we were kind of make some turnovers where we were just not trying to attack and not trying to make the extra pass to get good looks,” Anderson said. “Macey changed the game a little bit when she started getting to the basket and Morgan Brightman’s defense on Kruszka, their best player, changed the game too. They weren’t allowing her to post up anymore. She had good contested shots. A total team effort to get back into the game.”
Though Kruszka would go on to lead Frontier with a 15-point night, the sophomore star would manage just one bucket in the final eight minutes of play in the face of defensive pressure.
With the evening’s focus trained on the six seniors that will depart following this season for Jamestown, the juniors played just as big of a factor.
Allie Stockwell would grab 8 of her eventual 16 points in the second quarter after the Red Raiders finished the opening period in a 10-point hole, while adding five rebounds and three steals.
“Allie Stockwell kept us in the game in the first half with her offense and everybody else pulled together in the end and I’m very proud of the girls for another good close win,” Anderson said.
It was a trey by Stockwell that closed the gap to within two points for Jamestown with 2:25 to play before half, but the Eagles were able to regain the margin in the closing two minutes after back-to-back buckets by Kruszka and a steal and finish from Natalie Muka.
The Red Raiders were able to maintain pace through the third quarter of play thanks to a long-range make from Brightman and some work at the foul line from Taylor Evan.
That duo would also start off the fourth quarter with consecutive inside shots before Jamestown’s final push down the home stretch.
While Lundmark, Stockwell, Olivia Gates and Hannah Frederick will return for Anderson in 2019, Jamestown’s coach will certainly have his work cut out for him in replacing the six seniors honored on Monday.
“It’s a large group obviously with six girls, and all of them have brought a different role to our program,” Anderson said. “Some play more than others but everybody has brought their personality and their effort and their love of the game to our program, and again, it is another group that I’ll always be able to use as an example to talk about how much effort they put in to bring us to where we were.”
The Red Raiders’ final regular season game will take place on the road against Orchard Park on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The Quakers prevailed by virtue of a 52-47 final on Jan. 19.
Muka 1 0 2, Bevilacqua 1 0 3, Henry 2 0 4, Kruszka 7 0 15, Izzo 5 0 13, Doyle 1 0 3, McGloin 1 0 2. Totals 18 0 42.
Gates 1 0 3, Lundmark 2 3 8, Stockwell 4 4 16, Bennett 3 1 8, Evan 1 2 4, Brightman 2 0 5. Totals 16 10 44.
3-point goals–Bevilacqua, Kruszka, Izzo 3, Doyle, Gates, Lundmark, Stockwell 4, Bennett, Brightman.
Frontier 14 10 11 7 — 42
Jamestown 4 13 9 18 — 44