JOHNSTOWN - The Johnstown Lady Bills spent nearly the entire 10-minute halftime in the locker room as coach Tim Derwin had a lot to say about his team's performance in the second half.
After leading by three at the break, Johnstown's forwards starting asserting themselves in the paint, grabbing nearly every rebound - both offensive and defensive - and cruised to a 46-32 Foothills Council win over the Lady Patriots.
"Everyone went to get it in the second half, senior forward Courtney Cirillo said. "It was a team effort and we all just hustled. We outrebounded them because we wanted it more."
Johnstown's Courtney Cirillo spins for a jump shot as she is defended by Broadalbin-Perth's Katie Herba during Tuesday's Foothills Council girls basketball game at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
Overall, the Lady Bills finished with 50 rebounds, 14 of which were from Cirillo. She also scored 12 points for a double-double.
"I knew Broadalbin was going to give us a strong push in the first half, but our execution was poor," Derwin said. "We had nine turnovers in the first half, five or six travel calls. I thought we were sloppy. A lot of the things we gave them were because of our unforced errors. I couldn't really be more pleased with the second half. Defensively, we really tightened up in the half court."
Many of those rebounds turned to points right from the start of the third quarter as Annie Stock grabbed a defensive rebound off a missed shot by the Lady Patriots. Johnstown didn't convert on the first opportunity, but scored on a putback, giving the Lady Bills a five-point lead.
Hope Cerasuolo followed with a jumper more than a minute later before Broadalbin-Perth's Kaitlin Wood knocked down a free throw to break the Lady Bills' four-point swing.
With 4:10 remaining, Rachel Orapello scored off a drive to the basket, cutting Johnstown's lead to 23-19, but the Lady Bills followed with a six-point run to open a 10-point lead for the first time in the game.
"Generally, we think the third quarter is the most important so we always have the same talk that it isn't the first half, but it's the third quarter that defines how the game's going to end," Cirillo said. "We came out hard."
Cirillo started the run with a jumper with 3:08 to go, and Brianne O'Rourke was fouled on a putback attempt and knocked down one of two free throws. After O'Rourke grabbed a rebound on the other end of the floor, Stock converted a three-point play, giving the Lady Bills a 29-19 lead with 2:17 left in the quarter.
"It's hard to win a game like that, but most of our games we've been getting outrebounded," Broadalbin-Perth coach Mike Magliocca said. "But we didn't play smart tonight. We rushed it a little too much. I thought we had some opportunities to get it down low, but we weren't seeing it."
Although she scored 13 points in the game, the Lady Bills bottled up the Lady Patriots' leading scorer for most of the game.
She knocked down three 3-pointers in the game. The first tied the score at 11-11 in the final second of the first quarter and the other two were late in the fourth with the game already out of reach.
"Annie Stock did a wonderful job on Kaitlin down low," Magliocca said. "She came out with her. They had a nice plan but when she pops out, we've got to have movement from everyone else. Everyone else is just standing there. We get the ball to Kaitlin up top, we draw them all out, someone has got to be making the cut backdoor, but we're not cutting backdoor."
The Lady Bills posted 17 points in the fourth quarter, most of which came from Cerasuolo, who scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the final period.
"Offensively, I thought we executed very well," Derwin said. "We made the extra pass; took shots seven or eight passes into our possession and knocked them down. That's just good winning basketball. I was happy with that."
The Lady Bills (9-7 overall, 4-6 Foothills Council) are looking to keep up their winning basketball in the final two games of the regular season. They will host Queensbury on Friday night before finishing the regular season in Glens Falls on Monday
"We're going to have to work very hard for them," Cirillo said. "They're both good teams."
The Lady Bills have now won four in a row and five of their last six.
"It's all going in the right direction, but I told the girls we have to put it together for 32 minutes," Derwin said. "There are better teams down the road. I like where we're headed, but we've got to keep working."
The Lady Patriots (8-8 overall, 2-8 Foothills Council) will visit South Glens Falls on Friday before taking a trip to Hudson Falls on Monday to finish the regular season.
"South Glens Falls is a team that likes to bang it down low," Magliocca said. "And Hudson Falls is another team that's big and likes to get it down low."
Johnstown 46, Broadalbin-Perth 32
Broadalbin-Perth11 5 5 11 32
Johnstown11 8 10 17 46
Orapello 2-2-6, Herba 2-0-4, Wood 4-2-13, Gifford 1-5-7, Dickson 1-0-2. Totals: 10-9-32.
Swatt 1-3-5, Cerasuolo 8-2-18, Cirillo 4-4-12, O'Rourke 1-2-4, Anagnostopulos 0-2-2, Stock 2-1-5. Totals: 16-14-46.
3-point goals: Broadalbin-Perth 3 (Wood 3).