Girls Varsity Basketball Triumphs Over Hun

This past Saturday, Lawrenceville’s Girls Varsity Basketball team defeated The Hun School of Princeton 57-44.

This past Saturday, Lawrenceville’s Girls Varsity Basketball team defeated The Hun School of Princeton 57-44. This was its first matchup against its league rivals, and the victory improved Big Red’s Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) record to 4-1. Despite its previous defeat to Blair Academy and Co-captain Victoria Dugan’s ’20 absence due to injury, Lawrenceville took care of business in wire-to-wire contest.

Lawrenceville started strong, racing out to a 9-2 lead within the first five minutes. Big Red’s collective team defense forced deflections and Hun turnovers, which led to Taylor Simpson ’22, Asmat Taunque ’21, and Co-captain Heaven Figueroa ’20 converting on transition opportunities. Responding to Lawrenceville’s quick start, Hun made a short push of its own, but Lawrenceville answered each basket Hun scored and extended its lead to 19-7 at the end of the first period.

To start the second quarter, Hun went on a 6-0 run following some uncharacteristic turnovers from Lawrenceville. As both sides entered a period of poor shooting, Lawrenceville turned to Figueroa. After a string of great ball movement, Figueroa laid in a nifty, off-balance layup with her off-hand at the rim. Lawrenceville kept feeding the hot hand as Figueroa hit a deep three-pointer several feet behind the arc as the shot clock expired and then followed that up with yet another off-balance layup to end the first half with a 34-23 lead.

To start the second half, Lawrenceville slowed the pace of the game and executed its offensive plays. The girls’ effort was evident, as Gabby Hemenes ’22 recovered a key offensive rebound and scored the putback layup, continuing Big Red’s momentum. Though Hun responded with a few baskets of its own, Lawrenceville’s offensive prowess kept it at bay.

Hemenes aired a full-court pass to Simpson, who subsequently hit the midrange jump-shot. Hun responded to this highlight sequence with one of its own, finding an open three-point shooter that followed a behind-the-back dribble sequence. In the final seconds, the teams exchanged baskets, Hun with a three-pointer and Lawrenceville with a strong putback, to end the third at 43-33.

Throughout the final quarter, Lawrenceville struggled to pull away as Hun’s dangerous outside shooting kept it within striking distance. However, Lawrenceville kept every potential Hun run in check and never let the lead decrease to two possessions. With less than three minutes left, a mid-range jump shot near the free-throw stripe and a putback from Taunque secured the 57-44 victory for Big Red.

Girls Varsity Basketball Head Coach Grey Simpson P’20 ’22 lauded the team’s performance and, in regards to the game, said “all five of [Hun’s] starters were capable of making threes so we had to be really locked in on defense, and our goal was to really push the tempo and pace of the game because we were more athletic and more aggressive.”

Following the emphatic team win, the team sets its sights on upcoming tournament play. Big Red’s future competitions include the Warrior Winter Classic Tournament, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament, and the eight Schools Tournament. As for securing the second seed and a first round bye in the team’s upcoming MAPL tournament, Simpson commented, “one of our goals [is to] to put ourselves in a favorable position for the MAPL tournament at the end of the year.” Lawrenceville’s Girls Varsity Basketball team will have one more home game this season against The Pingry School on Wednesday, February 5.

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