Behind a barrage of 3-pointers sparked by Hannah Jump, the Pinewood School girls basketball team shot past Eastside College Prep 80-66 Friday night.
The host Panthers buried a season-high 19 treys (in 40 attempts), with junior Jump sinking eight of them. That’s the most 3s any Pinewood player has made in a game this year.
“She’s the best shooter in America,” coach Doc Scheppler said of his 5-foot-11 forward.
Based on Jump’s first-quarter performance, it would be hard to argue with that. She drained six of her seven attempts from beyond the arc, helping Pinewood build a 23-15 lead.
“When you hit your first couple, it’s like, ‘OK, this is going to be a good night,’” said Jump, who finished with a season-best 28 points. “It’s all mental, so even if you hit your first couple, you’ve got to stay with it.”
Jump’s next two baskets came from inside the paint. She opened the second quarter with a fastbreak layup and two minutes later cut to the hoop for a layin set up by Brianna Claros. Pinewood, on a 14-0 run ignited by Jump’s straight-away trey with 1:55 left in the opening period, now led 28-15.
Eastside scored the next seven points to cut its deficit to six, but the Panthers answered with an 8-0 run. Klara Astrom and Courtni Thompson drained 3s, with Trinity Copeland scoring on an under-the-basket inbounds play in between.
Eastside narrowed the gap to single digits on five straight points by Marley Langi with 69 seconds left in the half, but Jump countered with a 3 on Pinewood’s ensuing possession. That gave the Panthers 39 points at halftime – 25 courtesy of Jump, who nearly matched Eastside’s 27.
“Every time she shot, she knew it was going in,” Scheppler said. “That can have a positive effect on your other girls when they shoot the ball as well. They really start believing – believing in their shots.”
That was especially apparent in the second half, when Eastside put more of an emphasis on stopping Jump. That created more open shots for Pinewood’s other sharpshooters. Astrom produced 19 of her 24 points in the half, while Thompson, Claros and Kaitlyn Leung combined for 19.
“Once I started getting the ball later on in the game, they started to close out on me and played me a little tighter – and that opened up shots for Bri and Klara and Kaitlyn and Courtni,” Jump said, “and that’s how we got our offense rolling.”
After Eastside’s 4-0 run to start the third, Astrom made a layin and 3 to push Pinewood’s lead to 13. The Panthers maintained a double-digit advantage until Langi scored on a drive with 7:04 left in the fourth. With its lead trimmed to nine, Astrom buried a top-of-the-key 3, then another a minute later to make it a 64-49 game with 5:50 to go. Pinewood extended its edge to 19 on Leung’s trey with 2:39 remaining.
“Kaitlyn had a marvelous game offensively for us,” Scheppler said of the junior, who totaled 13 points.
Friday’s win was Pinewood’s 15th in a row. The Panthers are 19-1 overall, with their lone loss coming Dec. 7 when Salesian edged them by two points.
“We’re playing really well right now,” Jump said. “But every practice, we have to keep working hard.”
At 7-0 in the West Bay Athletic League Foothill Division, Pinewood is two games ahead of Eastside (5-2) with three to play. The Panthers also hold the tiebreaker advantage because they beat Eastside (16-5 overall) last month as well.
“That was a great game,” Scheppler said of Friday’s win. “Eastside never quits. ... They play really hard.”
His only complaint: Pinewood surrendered a season-high 66 points Friday after holding Eastside to only 41 Jan. 9.
“We continue to need to work on some things,” he said.
The Panthers are scheduled to visit Sacred Heart Prep 6 p.m. Friday.