In Friday’s 76-30 dismantling of Notre Dame-San Jose, the Pinewood School girls basketball team provided more evidence that it will not only be tough to beat this season but for years to come.
The host Panthers – who have lost just once all season and remain undefeated in league – received stellar efforts from their experienced starters and strong support from their freshmen.
Leeana Bade scored a team-high 17 points – in a little more than two quarters of action – and fellow senior forward Kendahl Wallis-Lang added 11. Junior guards Monique McDevitt and Marissa Hing contributed 10 and eight points, respectively.
Pinewood’s four freshmen came off the bench to score a combined 20 points. Akayla Hackson chipped in 10, Priya Sundaresan and Mikaela Topper scored four points each and Erin Poindexter-McHan added two.
“They’re great athletes, great competitors and great teammates,” coach Doc Scheppler said of his freshmen. “I can’t stress enough how fun it is to coach them. They’re great learners. You tell them something once, and they usually get it.”
Hing – who has started at point guard since she was a freshman – also likes what these ninth-graders bring to the team.
“I’m very impressed with them,” she said.
Hackson, Sundaresan and Poindexter-McHan saw early action and scored in the opening quarter. Hackson made a fade-away follow in the middle of the key and a layin off a steal, Sundaresan nailed a pull-up jumper and Poindexter-McHan converted a fastbreak layup off a long pass from Hing.
The quarter ended with Pinewood up 20-8. Bade scored the first 10 points, highlighted by a pair of top-of-the-key 3s.
“Leeanna played a nice game,” Scheppler said.
The Panthers pulled away in the second quarter, outscoring the Regents 21-7. They opened it with a 6-0 run – all on points in the paint – then McDevitt buried a corner trey after Notre Dame’s Carly Turner split a pair of free throws. This was the start of an 11-point run for Pinewood, which extended its advantage to 37-9 with just under two minutes left in the half.
The third quarter was much of the same. The Panthers enjoyed another 20-point period. Midway through, Pinewood embarked on a 12-0 run that began with back-to-back drives by Wallis-Lang, who was fouled on the first and dropped in the free throw. Bade followed with a layin off a quick cut to the hoop and another 3 from the top of the key. Hing’s drive made it 59-23 with 1:06 remaining in the quarter.
Hing’s drive to start the fourth quarter ignited a 7-0 run for the Panthers, whose lead ballooned to 68-25 on McDevitt’s 3-pointer with 5:33 to go.
“I think we’re playing pretty well,” Hing said.
It’s hard to argue with that. Pinewood – which Friday improved to 5-0 in the West Bay Athletic League – went to 19-1 overall with Saturday’s 59-34 out-of-section win against San Domenico.
The Panthers are slated to visit Eastside Prep 6:30 p.m. Friday.
2013 girls basketball: Pinewood School - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier