Lady Warriors Roll Over North Hunterdon, 77-48, To Advance To NJSIAA Sectional Semi-Finals

Lady Warrior Monique Davis powers through defenders during the March 1 sectional quarterfinal against North Hunterdon.

It was all about the defense.

The March 1 quarter final Section II, Group IV basketball game pitting the Franklin High School Warriors against the North Hunterdon Lions was a textbook lesson in how an explosive offense is generated by tight defense.

After posting a shaky second quarter following a dominant opening frame, the Lady Warriors focused on defense and blew past the Lions finishing with a 77-48 victory and trip to the March 3 semi-finals against Westfield High School.

Diamond Miller led all scorers with 22, followed by Monique Davis with 19.

The Warriors set the pace early, jumping to a 19-6 lead with about two minutes left on the first quarter. They entered the second quarter with a 26-12 lead.

But some missed opportunities and hot shooting by Hunterdon looked like it might put that lead in jeopardy. The Lions managed to get within six points of the Warriors before the buzzer, but still ended the half down by 10, 37-27.

The Warriors came out of the locker room ready to put the game away. Tight defense and key turnovers fueled a 10-point unanswered run to start the quarter, and the Warriors never looked back.

By the end of the quarter, Franklin had a commanding 61-35 lead.

Coach Audrey Taylor said she told the girls at halftime “that we needed to play better containment defense, that we were letting them penetrate too much. We needed to take a step back.”

In the third quarter, she said, “we made better decisions on defense, which always sparks our offense. We were able to get our transition going.”

Taylor said Davis’ hustle and aggressiveness stood out for her during the game.

“She was really aggressive, she had a lot of energy, she was bringing her team in, she was leading her team, so to me, out of everybody she stood out,” Taylor said.

Davis said she just wanted to get her and her teammates on the same page.

“The first state game we played, it was a little rough and even though it was a weaker team, our offense wasn’t moving as well, we were a little stagnant, so tonight I just wanted to tell the girls that we needed to get back to playing how we play as a team,” she said.

Davis led her team with 10 rebounds, some of them off of her own shots.

“Because of my body size, I know that rebounding is an area where I can excel,” she said. “Grabbing rebounds, looking for my teammates, boxing out, it just makes it easier for the other girls.”

Davis said she’d give her play that night “a 9 out of 10. I did pretty OK tonight.”

2017 Lady Warriors vs Hunterdon North


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