Carey’s Kin controls the paint in N10 victory

PHOTO BY PAT GAIETTO Carey’s Sydney Kin pushes the ball up court against Seneca East’s Marina Adachi in Attica.

ATTICA — Carey didn’t play its best game offensively Thursday night (21 turnovers), but the defense and 6-foot-3 junior post Sydney Kin made up for it as the Blue Devils topped Seneca East 44-29 to end Northern 10 Athletic Conference play.

The Blue Devils (16-5, 13-3 N10) shut down N10 leading scorer Megan Siesel (22.3 ppg), who had 15 points on just 4-of-20 shooting. As a team, the Tigers (11-11, 8-8) shot 11 of 39 for the game.

“I’m proud of them. We knew what we were facing with Siesel at 20-some points per game and (Marina) Adachi at 14 or whatever she was at and I feel pretty good with our defense holding them to 29 points,” Carey coach Phil Vaughn said. “We feel pretty good about that as a team and ending the N10 season on a positive note.”

The defense was stellar, but it didn’t overshadow the performance Kin had as she scored 22 points and pulled down 22 rebounds for the Blue Devils.

“We’d get them to miss, but we just couldn’t get the rebound (Carey out-rebounded SE 42-19) and she would put it right back up,” Tigers coach Doug Mason said. “She’s a really good player. She’s tall and long and presents a lot of challenges.

“Our girls for the most part for three quarters really scrapped, but it’s frustrating when you get the stop, but they’d get the stick back.”

With the size advantage in the post, Kin took advantage and her teammates did a nice job of feeding her opportunities.

“She hit the boards hard and our guards and her have gotten together and figured how to enter the ball into her and she got a lot of offensive boards and cleanups too, but we did a better job of getting her the ball. I was really pleased with that part of it,” Vaughn said.

Carey shot the ball well to start, making its first three 3-pointers by Amber Nash, Kin and Destiny DeFeo to grab a 9-2 lead.

Siesel scored five straight points to get the tigers within 9-7, but Carey responded with a 9-2 run to end the quarter. Kin recorded nine points and seven boards in the opening quarter.

The scoring started to slow down in the second quarter, but the Blue Devils led 28-17 at the half.

“Offensively, we struggled,” Mason said. “They do a great job playing man about the whole time. They get up in you and you have to be able to execute under that pressure and we just couldn’t do that tonight.

“Even when we would get a post entry, they would bump us off the block force a bad angle or they would have the Kin kid behind her. In the back of their minds they are thinking even if they get by their man then she is waiting for you as well. That’s the challenge she presents. They make things tough. They were physical with our best scorer Megan Siesel. She couldn’t get many good looks and she got frustrated because she couldn’t get that space she needed to get a shot off.”

Carey essentially put the game away to start the second half with an 11-3 run behind four Kin points, a Jessica Johnson layup and a Sydney Ferguson triple to bump up the advantage to 39-19 late in the third.

Down 40-26 after three quarters, Carey clamped down the defense and held the Tigers to just five points in the final period.

“We knew we couldn’t ignore the rest of them as Bivens had 24 (points) the other day in a game, so we wanted to take away their strengths,” Vaughn said. “I feel like it started with Siesel, Adachi, so we wanted to contain them and limit their touches and keep them away from the basket.

“There still is a lot of room to go for us. We have a lot of improvement to make. We have stretches where we play really well and then we have stretches where we turn the basketball over, so I think it’s a good thing we are playing good basketball now, but I still think we aren’t where we could be.”

DeFeo had six points, while Ferguson added five for the Blue Devils. Caylin Quiggle had six points for the Tigers.

Mason, who replaced Dave Stallings (resigned) two weeks ago, said he is adjusting to coaching the girls game and is trying to install a couple things as the Tigers head to the postseason.

“As (athletic director) and I’ve always coached boys sports, so it’s an opportunity to step into a girls sport and there is a big difference,” he said. “They respond to different things. For me, from a professional standpoint, it’s great to see the differences.

“I’ve enjoyed it. The girls for the most part are playing hard and trying to do it. We are implementing some of the boys stuff, so I wouldn’t call out a separate play, but I give them a lot of credit because it’s a difficult change and they struggled with it for that first week, but then they bounced back and won three straight games. Then we ran into a buzz saw in Old Fort Monday and Carey tonight. The key will be to bounce back against Colonel Crawford next week. There’s been a lot of adversity they’ve had to overcome this season and once again they will have to do that again tonight to get ready for the tournament.”