With a new-look team, which features a combination of five student-athletes with size and skill, Millennium High School Girls Basketball (4-2) used solid defense and balanced scoring to knock off host John Jay Campus, 47-30, in a PSAL Brooklyn Class A East I game Thursday night in front of a raucous packed house.
Lady Phoenix head coach Brian McCarthy said it was a nice overall team victory. Additionally, he noted, playing tough defense has been something he has been working on with his girls this season, not to mention the club’s improved down-low presence due to the added hardwood muscle, which has been helpful on both ends of the floors.
“We had two girls transferred in and we have three freshmen getting a lot of minutes,” McCarthy said of this year’s squad. “I got some size.” And with that, “that’s our focus, playing (solid) defense. I’m very happy with the outcome, and I’ll take the win.”
McCarthy said that while it wasn’t an absolute must-win game, he did want this one because his team shares the building with the Lady Jayhawks, making it a natural rivalry. Plus, a win is a win, of course.
“It’s a very important win due to the fact that we share the building,” he said. “We got to come out and at least get the first win.”
Millennium raced out to a 13-7 advantage in the first quarter. John Jay Campus (2-2) cut the deficit to four points (21-18) at the end of the half.
But the Lady Phoenix clamped down on defense while doing enough on offense, with sophomore guard Arianna Lopez scoring four points, to take a 30-21 lead in the third period.
Lady Jackhawk senior Nya Dias sank three free throws to narrow the gap at 30-24 with 6:36 remaining in the tilt. But Millennium freshman Ruby Teeter sparked the offense with a clutch three-pointer, to reclaim its nine-point advantage (33-21) with 6:03 to go in the contest.
The Lady Phoenix proceeded to go on a 14-9 run to close out the game with the triumph.
Lopez led Millennium with 10 points while junior guard Zaakyaa Young contributed nine. Senior Brianna Ingram and sophomore Raven Richardson, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder last season, added eight points apiece in the victory.
The Lady Phoenix returns to action on January 7th, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. against visiting Harry Van Arsdale.
— Jerry Del Priore