Queen of Peace and Lyndhurst players at post game. - Photo by Ray Floriani.
Those in the college coaching business know and can tell you countless tales of the unexpected happening. Those who enter and direct a high school huddle can tell you the same. Only their situation, with 14-18 year olds is even more susceptible to the uncertain. Case in point was a game in Lyndhurst, New Jersey on Tuesday evening.
LYNDHURST, NJ - On January 10th Lyndhurst (NJ) High School edged Queen of Peace 44-39 on their North Arlington home floor. On Tuesday evening the rematch saw the host Lady Bears earn a surprisingly easy 58-27 victory over Queen of Peace. The three keys:
Transition. The night before Lyndhurst was soundly beaten at Secaucus. Perrin Mosca, the Lyndhurst coach was not pleased the way his team got back, or failed to get back, on defense. Lyndhurst took the lesson to heart and decided to use some of the Secaucus game plan in their own arsenal. QP was constantly beaten down the floor by Lyndhurst who pushed the tempo ad cashed in on a number of easy baskets. The Lady Griffins of QP zoned on defense. They say the best way to defeat a zone is beat it down the floor before it organized. That is what Lyndhurst did. In a big way.
Turnovers. Lyndhurst had 16 turnovers. Maxprep.com had a breakdown of the home stats but not of visiting Queen of Peace. Simply, with Lyndhurst losing the ball 16 times, it is safe to say the visitors were guilty of about 30 turnovers on their end. Lyndhurst utilized a 2-3 zone and on offense, the Lady Griffins were trapped after a pass to a corner and often lost the ball. In the open floor Queen of Peace just showed the inability to be 'strong with the ball'.
Camila Alonso. Fresh off recently breaking a 40 point barrier for a single game, the Lyndhurst post player was someone Queen of Peace had no answer for. The 5-10 senior scored a game high 21 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds, blocking three shots and coming up with five steals. Just another outstanding effort.
Tempo Free. The points per possession saw Lyndhurst at a 0.74 points per possession (on the low side) in a fast 79 possession game. For those not versed in Tempo Free statistics, possessions are calculated by adding field goal attempts plus free throw attempts (times .475 to account for one shot or two shot free throws), turnovers and subtracting offensive rebounds as they extend the same possession. Add divide points by the total possessions. The Lyndhurst numbers:
FTA: 3 (amazing only three attempts from the charity stripe)
Off Rebs: 10
Doing the calculation gives us 79 possessions with the points per possession factoring to .74. Possessions are usually exact, maybe two or so off. Estimating Queen of Peace at 79 possessions their PPP would be an extremely low 0.34.
There is not much high school data but 1.00 is a threshold for college teams. Over that figure on offense, you are very capable on that end of the floor. Keeping opponents under 1.00 is a defensive objective.
As noted the .74 for Lyndhurst was on the low side but acceptable as their defense yielded an outstanding .34.
Nikki Samartino led QP with 12 points. Brittany Levario, with 16 points, also hit double figures for Lyndhurst. Lady Bears took 37% of their field goal attempts from three point land. They shot 23% (6 of 26) while going for 35% (25 of 72 overall). Lyndhurst is now 15-8 for the season.
In the upcoming state tournament Lyndhurst is in a 'bracket of death';. Included are national power Shabazz of Newark, Ridge Field Park (a Bergen County Tournament semifinalist), Lincoln (arguably the best team in Hudson County) and a strong Hanover Park program to highlight the field. Lyndhurst will host Snyder of Jesey City in the first round on February 25th.
"We probably have the toughest bracket in the State," Mosca said. "But before the states I just want us to go on and finish the season strong."
The win over Queen of Peace got the late season momentum rolling.