BY TIM YEAN, TSM PRESIDENT
(Cranston, RI) - Senior captain Aydan Gulliver was serious when she said she was sick and tired of losing in her post-game interview in the win over Tiverton last week. Gulliver, along with junior Mya Jiminez and the help of a huge second quarter effort from the Lady Bolts, showed their true ceiling in terms of what they could do offensively and defensively in a decisive 56-34 win over Mt. Pleasant.
Boosted by an extremely efficient second quarter in which East outscored Mt. Pleasant 26-12, it was more than enough as the Kilties were unable to mount a comeback in the second half. The quarter was made even more remarkable by the Lady Bolts nine assists on their eleven made baskets in the period (the other two buckets were layups after steals).
It was a slow first quarter start for both teams, as while the teams were mostly successful in the paint, both struggled on their three-point shooting. The exception was sophomore Madison Guttierez, who started off her night of making a three and an easy bucket in the paint.
Following a 12-7 first quarter, East dominated on offense and defense, converting steals into easy scores in the paint. Jayna Gunderway was highly productive in the second quarter, scoring all six of her points in the period. She and fellow sophomores Leniya Rollins and Val Samos provided a defensive spark, with Gunderway and Samos hitting the boards, leading to many second shot opportunities for the Lady Bolts.
Mt. Pleasant struggled to get past halfcourt and make shots against a stifling East defense. The Bolts continued scoring, especially from beyond the arc, as they drained four from downtown in the quarter. At the half, East was up 38-19 with Jiminez and Gulliver each having 10 points to lead East in scoring. Jiminez managed to survive and thrive despite having four personal fouls by the 6:30 mark of the quarter.
The second half overall saw a much slower, but tightly contested half, as Mt. Pleasant created a quick run of points as East freely substituted. However, the Lady Bolts slowly recovered after each spurt, eventually extending their already massive 19-point lead to 22, 47-25.
Opening the fourth quarter, East’s main focus was to maintain the lead and run clock, although Madison Guttierez added two more three-pointers to bring her total to 11 points, good for second on the team in scoring.
In the end, East’s balanced attack and solid defense was too much for the Kilties. Jiminez and Gulliver each had 15 points, leading the team in scoring, and were boosted by Gutierrez’s season-high eleven. Accurate three-point shooting, unselfish play, and active defense and rebounding game the Lady Bolts their most well-rounded effort of the season.
“Every time we always have great energy, we’re going to win,” Mya Jiminez commented in a post-game interview.
The Lady Bolts are now 2-1 in their last three games, and will look to feed off that energy next Wednesday when they travel to East Greenwich to face the Avengers and All-State scoring machine Alex Mega, currently in the midst of a 5-game winning streak.
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