By Steve Wilaj
Only a minute into Monday’s girls basketball game and his team leading 4-0, Girard High coach Andy Saxon called a 30-second timeout in displeasure.
“In only three sets, we did three fundamental things wrong,” Saxon said. “I wanted to stop and set the mood right there — do the fundamentals correct and we’ll be fine.”
Saxon got his point across as the Indians played a fairly clean game from there on out in disposing of Warren JFK, 59-14.
“It’s not who you play, it’s how you play,” Saxon said. “I know Kennedy is a little bit down this year, but we still had to do the right things. The things that you preach and practice, you have to carry that over to games.”
Shymara Dykes, who paced Girard with 18 points and 16 rebounds, felt the Indians (4-1) responded well to Saxon’s message.
“I feel like we picked it up,” Dykes said. “We handled the ball more and stopped our turnovers. We basically did what we needed to do.”
Girard outrebounded the Eagles 45-13. Bree Bishop grabbed 11 boards and Alasjia Dykes had five to go with her eight points.
Olivia Berry also had eight points off the bench.
“We really tried to pass to get it inside and use our height to our advantage,” Dykes said. “Our post people were able to get the ball and score pretty easily.”
Saxon said that height is something the Indians will depend on going forward.
“When we shoot and miss, a lot of the times we’re getting the offensive rebound,” Saxon said. “Our shooting outside is a little questionable, but we are able to put the ball back in, so that’s a plus.”
Point guard Antonella LaMonica, a freshman, scored all 14 points for Warren JFK (0-5). She knocked down four 3-pointers in shooting 4 of 16 from the field.
“I just tell her to stay positive when she misses some shots,” Warren JFK coach John Condoleon said. “She was playing hurt tonight and missed some shots she would normally make.
“But she’s so young so we just stay positive with her.”
The Eagles are still trying to recover after last season’s schedule was canceled after six games.
“We’re about four years behind in our system,” Condoleon said. “We’re building a program and we’re trying. We’re working hard right now and that’s all I can ask. I’m proud of them.”
Condoleon added he likes the potential in his young players, especially LaMonica’s.
“She’s what we’re building around,” he said.