CHAUMONT — In the final 20 seconds of Lyme’s 59-46 girls basketball Frontier League crossover victory against Thousand Islands, the Vikings’ Kennady Amo put up a desperation 3-pointer.
The shot clanked off the rim and ricocheted to teammate Hailey Alteri positioned just outside of the left block. After securing the offensive rebound, she tried to dish it back out to Amo who was waiting from where she made the initial shot. But as soon as Alteri attempted the pass, the ball met the outstretched hand of Lyme’s Simarra Willett. Eventually it found its way to Lyme’s Molly Timmerman, who completed the fast break with a bucket and-1.
With that little time left on the clock, the points were fairly insignificant, but the play capped a defensive performance that was effective or frustrating, depending on what team you ask.
Lyme’s defensive game plan was simple: focus on Thousand Islands’ best scorers, Amo and Delaney Wiley.
“We were focusing on the ones we knew could shoot and told to leave the others be,” Olivia Ososkalo said. “If they can show that they can make it then that’s when we’ll start worrying about them.”
Amo finished with 14 points, Wiley had 13 and Lauren Rupp finished with 10 for the Vikings (3-2) — the team made just three 3-pointers in the game.
Part of stopping TI’s talented shooters is disrupting the ball movement.
“Denying the pass of course and making sure that there is no skip passes or easy looks, stuff like that,” Willett said.
Willett finished with four steals while Ososkalo collected five.
The Indians (4-1) are four days removed from a 20-point loss to Copenhagen, the Frontier League “D” Division leader. It’s Lyme’s only loss of the season to this point, but served as a good lesson especially heading into Tuesday’s game.
“I think definitely losing track of the shooters during that game was one of our biggest downfalls,” Willett said of the Copenhagen loss. “This game we focused in on that and really got to it.”
After a sluggish first quarter offensively, Lyme started to score more consistently in the second quarter and second half. Ososkalo led the scoring with 23 points while also recording five assists. Francesca Gamel scored 19 but scored much more effectively in the second half with 11 points in the third and fourth quarters.
“Definitely the talk at halftime (helped), coach just talked to us trying to get us motivated,” Gamel said. “He said to keep shooting, keep putting up shots and they’ll fall.”
Gamel fell a rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with nine.
Lyme’s offense started moving the ball better in the second half, which ultimately led to more open shots.
“I think our passes and our communication got a little better,” Ososkalo said. “It was just a faster pace, we usually like playing at a faster pace and with steals and rebounds, we pushed up the court faster and that helped us get better on offense.”
Coming off of the loss to Copenhagen, Lyme coach Mark Wilson was concerned that his team wouldn’t come out strong against a talented Thousand Islands team. “I was a little nervous to be honest with you, after a tough loss like that against Copenhagen, then playing another tough team like this right on the heels of that game,” Mark Wilson said. “I was nervous how they were going to react coming into it, but they’re confident and they came out and showed it right off the bat.”