Republished with Permission from the News Journal
Written by Brad Myers
GREENVILLE— Every high school athletic team has that one game a season when everything falls into place.For the Tower Hill girls basketball team, that game came on Friday.
The Hillers were sharp from start to finish, and Sophie McCoy and Jenna Chodos combined for 34 points in an impressive 46-33 victory at A.I. du Pont.
“Today, everything just clicked,” McCoy said. “We were hitting our passes, we were seeing the court, we weren’t forcing things.”
Tower Hill (6-8) has had its struggles, but those all disappeared against the Tigers (11-3). The Hillers shot 48.8 percent from the field, including a 9 of 12 performance from McCoy.
“A.I. is a great team, and I was very nervous coming into here, to tell you the truth,” Tower Hill coach Amanda Blackstone said. “… This was a bit of a challenge for us, but we really stepped up today.”
The Hillers closed the first quarter on a 9-2 run, with a steal and layup by Chodos sending Tower Hill into the second quarter with a 14-6 lead.
Back-to-back driving layups by Jaclyn Purzycki (18 points) pulled A.I. within 16-11 with 2:37 left in the half. That’s when McCoy took over, scoring four straight baskets. The 6-foot-2 senior, who will play lacrosse at North Carolina next season, showed her basketball skills with an 8-foot jumper, a score off an offensive rebound and back-to-back layups on inbound plays.
McCoy finished with 18 points, and Chodos added 16. But McCoy said the key was defense, as the Hillers held the Tigers to 29.3 percent shooting from the field.
“We focused a lot on defense in practice, and I think we shut them down pretty well,” McCoy said. “We were using our feet and not reaching.”
The Hillers were just as efficient on offense. In the second half, McCoy threw a long outlet pass to Meghan Cobb for a layup, Cobb whipped a sharp pass to McCoy for a score, and Chodos drove the lane and dished to Cobb for another layup.
“We all played together,” Chodos said. “It was less dribbling, more passing. We created shots for each other. We weren’t taking shots on our own.”
It was the kind of effort that had everyone smiling afterward, including the coach.
“They executed everything that we’ve talked about,” Blackstone said. “We took time to breathe, and we played more as a team today. Patience was the key for us.”