By Jerry Del Priore
Lab Museum United has been soundly thumping easier competition for most of the early part of the PSAL girls’ basketball season. So, it was important to put their best foot forward against an undefeated Bryant squad from Queens, to prove it could hang with tougher opposition.
Consider it done. With guards Delilah Kalle and Dasha Goodman leading the way with 20 and 19 points, respectively, the Lady Gators (7-0, 9-0) upended the Lady Owls, 61-47, in the first game of the two-day Lab Museum United Holiday Festival Tournament Thursday in Manhattan.
Lab Museum head coach Michael Lloyd said it was a positive step in the right direction for his team, surviving a tough Bryant’s surge in the third quarter to come out on top in the end.
“It was a test. We been kind of been running away with some games in our league,” Lloyd explained. “But when Bryant pushed back, and they tied it in the third, our girls kept fighting; we were resilient. We started to get really locked in defensively (in the fourth), and made some tough shots.”
Lab Museum jumped out to a 18-13 lead in the first quarter. The Lady Gators extended their advantage to 32-22 at the half.
However, the Lady Owls (5-0, 6-1) gradually chipped away at the lead, going on a 15-2 run to slice the deficit to 40-39 at the end of the third period.
But that’s when the dynamic duo of Kalle (10) and Goodman (8) took over, scoring 18 of the Lady Gators’ 21 points in the fourth quarter to slam the door on the competition.
“Our sophomore, Dasha Goodman was big again. Delilah Kalle, a junior, was pretty good again,” Lloyd said. “We have those two, who led us last year, our one-two punch, leading us again.”
Not to get lost in the shuffle, however, Lloyd said sophomore guard Kayla Bridgeman contributed solid offensive rebounding and helped to lock down Bryant’s top baller while senior forward Jamie Feinman provided leadership.
“Add Kayla, who is still finding her niche; she was great on the offensive boards. And she was instrumental in helping us contain number 13, which is their best player, Brianna Randolph,” he said. “It was a collective effort. Plus, we had Jamie as our anchor, our senior, our captain.
“Those four were big for us,” he continued. “They just grinded it out, and just kept playing. They were a little tired, but they gutted it out.”
Host Lab Museum returns to action today at 6:00 p.m. to face Brooklyn’s Summit Academy in game two of the tournament.