Pinkerton Academy girls’ basketball coach Lani Buskey saw some pleasing signs from her youthful cagers in their season-opening, 46-40 defeat of the Manchester Central Little Green in Derry last Friday night, Dec. 11. And she’s hoping that those signs can be built upon as the 2015-16 campaign advances.
The Lady Astros grasped a 16-12 lead after one quarter and a slim, 21-18 advantage at halftime. Central led 31-30 at the end of three periods, but Buskey’s bunch outscored its opponent by a 16-10 tally in the high-pressure fourth period to walk away victorious on opening night.
“I thought it was a good first game for us,” said the coach. “We’re young, so each moment is truly a learning experience for us. My girls handled the last three minutes of that game masterfully. They did clock management well and played hard, solid, man-defense. I was pleased with that.”
Guards Amanda Lemire (17 points) and Marissa Stacy (12) and forward Taylor Frost (10) paced the Pinkerton offense by tallying 39 of the locals’ 46 points. Stacy sank a pair of three-point shots for her Lady Astros, who ended up having a total of six cagers collect points.
“There were moments when we lost our focus, but we never lost our toughness,” said Buskey. “They played hard the whole game. If we can get the focus and the toughness together for a full game, we will put ourselves in position to compete every game.”
The academy contingent then stepped into this week facing contests against the Merrimack High Lady Tomahawks in Merrimack on Tuesday, Dec. 15 after Nutfield News press time, and Friday, Dec. 18 back on its home floor against the Nashua South Lady Purple Panthers. That game will be followed by a trip to the Salem High Lady Blue Devils on Monday, Dec. 21.