With the Marian girls basketball team losing 32 points per game of scoring due to graduation the talk of Hometown was how Coach Paul Brutto going to replace the scoring void left behind by his seniors. The Fillies showed last night against Lehighton that they have a simple response to that question and the answer is defense. Marian's full court pressure stifled the Indians from the onset, helping them cruise to a 60-17 non-league victory.
The Fillies have always been known as a defensive oriented squad and it seems Brutto has yet another scrappy bunch that on almost every possession can make the opposition uncomfortable. Marian wasted no time forcing the issue, with Lehighton turning the ball over 11 times in the first quarter. The Fillies pressure in turn created solid offensive opportunities, giving them a 19-2 first quarter advantage.
"Our press was real effective tonight and it got us some easy buckets," said Brutto. "Overall this season our press has worked pretty well, but we weren't getting enough scoring opportunities off of it. We talked to the girls tonight about that and when we were making plays on the defensive end we got some more three on two and two on one looks and that was the difference."
With the loss of so much offense the Marian attack will be much more of a scoring by committee strategy than in year's past. The success of Marian's full-court pressure also becomes all the more important until some of the Fillies get comfortable with having to me more aggressive on offense.
"Our offense is definitely a work in progress," said Brutto. "The positive side of that though is that we have kids that can really play defense. We just need to continue to create problems for teams on the defensive side of the ball until some of our players get more confident offensively."
One Marian player that seems to be gaining confidence is freshman Savanna Krusinsky. The Marian youngster tallied 14 points and looks to have all the makings of somebody that can be a special player in the coming years for the Fillies.
"We're definitely going to need points off the glass this season if we want to be successful and Savanna does a good job of attacking the boards," said Brutto. "She has a lot of potential, she's athletic and has a good basketball body. She struggled a little bit at the start of the game, but then made some real nice moves to basket and more importantly finished."
The Indians offense simply couldn't get good looks on the offensive end and were outscored 41-14 the rest of the way.
Gabby Green had 11, Abby Hill helped out with nine, and Ashley Fannick chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds for Marian. Emily Sofranko also had a nice night for the Fillies on the defensive side of the ball coming up with six steals.
Kasaundra Barclay had seven points for the Indians.
Rossino 0-0-0-0, Green 0-0-0-0, Shelly 0-0-0-0, Barclay 3-0-0-7, Fital 0-0-0-0, Yurasits 1-1-2-3, Blasiak 0-0-0-0, Durishin 0-0-0-0, Smith 1-2-4-4, Scott 0-0-0-0, Koutch 0-0-0-0, Thompson 0-0-0-0, Rehrig 0-3-4-3, Cordova 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 5-6-10-17.
Green 5-0-1-11, Faust 2-1-1-5, Fannick 3-2-4-8, Bray 0-0-0-0, Sofranko 3-0-0-6, Shaud 1-1-3-3, Nemeth 2-0-0-4, Krusinsky 6-2-4-14, Hill 3-3-4-9, Holman 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 25-9-1-60.
Lehighton 2 5 8 1 - 17
Marian 19 18 12 11 - 60
Three-pointers: Marian - Green 1; Lehighton - Barclay 1.