As much as basketball is about outscoring your opponent, denying your opponent an opportunity to score on defense is just as important. Such was the case for the 6-3 Fontbonne JV basketball team that traveled to the Bronx to play Cardinal Spellman. With their key playmaker Leeann Ryan still out with an injury, the Bonnies stepped up to out-rebound the Pilots and disrupt the Spellman offense.
After a 9-9 first-quarter tie, sophomore forward Val Caggiano began a “personal best” game to score 13 points along with 14 rebounds that would propel Fontbonne to a 23-17 lead at the half. Alex Somerville opened the second half with a steal and went end-to-end for a lay up that began a 15-8 Fontbonne run for a 38-25 third-quarter lead.
According to JV Coach Bob Atanasio, in addition to Caggiano’s rebounding, a good deal of credit to limit Spellman’s scoring also went to his defensive star of the game, freshman Toni Leone. Filling in for the injured sophomore Ryan at the “three guard” position, Leone not only scored 5 points, but also established herself as a tough defender, making 12 pass defections at the top of the perimeter.
“You could see her getting more comfortable at that spot as the game went on,” said Atanasio after the freshman repelled Spellman’s passing attempts throughout the game.
In the fourth quarter, the JV’s leading scorer, Lauren Brenna (79 points), also finished with 13 points to match Caggiano’s game total for the final 46-34 Fontbonne win.