By Jerry Del Priore
It had to happen at some point in the season, Lab Museum head coach Michael Lloyd believed. He said it would’ve been difficult to go perfect for the regular season, as the Lady Gators were upended, 54-46, by Summit Academy in the championship game at the Lab Museum United Holiday Festival tournament.
“This was a learning experience,” Lloyd said. “It’s still early in the year, with this being our tenth game. So, we’re going into the new year, and now we can start off with a different mindset. Hopefully this is a blessing in disguise.”
Lab Museum (7-0, 9-1) led, 19-17, after the first period, with freshman guard Nina Hennessy dropping in six points. The Lady Gators extended their slight advantage to 28-24 at the half.
Summit (4-3, 6-5), however, took the lead at 33-32 midway through the third quarter. The Lady Eagles tacked on eight more points to Lab Museum’s three to widen the gap to five at the end of the period.
Summit proved too much for the Lady Gators in the end, outscoring them, 13-10, in the fourth quarter to secure the victory, and
deliver the host squad’s first loss of the campaign. Though the offense failed to click, Lloyd believed it was his team’s poor defensive play that led to their ultimate demise.
“I thought we started to play a little tight when our shots weren’t fallen. But I don’t think the offense was our problem,” Lloyd explained. “Defensively, we didn’t do a good job. Usually our defense creates our offense. We get a stop, and get an easy basket—a layup or two—that kind of gets you going. We didn’t have many of those today.”
In addition, Lloyd said the Lady Eagles’ size advantage hurt Lab Museum in the rebounding department.
“They killed us on the boards,” he said. “I don’t know what the numbers were on the boards, but they killed us.”
Junior guard Delilah Kalie led the Lady Gators with 11 points while Hennessey chipped in with 10. Summit sophomore point guard Daysiah Smith scored a game-high 20 points.
Lab Museum squares off against Millennium at John Jay Campus Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.