What a shooting display tonight from the Tappan Zee Dutchies, and Megan Curran (pictured below) in particular. Most of the time when basketball teams live on the perimeter they get themselves into trouble. At some point they get cold, they can’t rebound misses because they’re all 20 feet from the basket, and the other team that’s generating more sustainable offense pulls away. This isn’t the NBA where teams can stay hot for a whole game.
So it was amazing to watch TZ keep launching from the outside, and keep hitting. It felt like every shot was at or near the 3-point line. I went back and checked after the game and sure enough, it was true. Tappan Zee hit 22 fields goals against Nanuet. Two were fast-break layups. Four were putbacks off misses. Of the remaining 16 field goals — that is, any basket that came off a half-court play — 14 were jump shots. Thirteen were long jump shots. Long being defined as, let’s say, 17 feet or more.
The shots just kept falling. You couldn’t leave anyone open (especially Curran, who I’ll get to in a second) or they burned you. Except for one dry spell in the early second quarter, they kept at it for a 62-48 win over Nanuet. This was important not only for the opponent they beat but the fact that two other Rockland teams watched them do it because it was the finale of the North Rockland tournament.
Curran was incredible. The sophomore guard scored 28 on 10 of 17 shooting to easily set a career high.
Curran even got the honor of a box-and-1 defense for a little while. As coach Reid Hoffer pointed out, box-and-1s are usually reserved for superstars.
The hot hand isn’t going to last, and I think TZ knows that. What I think it can build on is the fact that these shots weren’t taken with hands in their faces. The shooter always had a little space, which is incredible when you remember that all they did was shoot from the outside. It’s a credit to the ball movement around the perimeter, which was initiated by freshman point guard Regina Argenzio (right). Argenzio’s presence has been a boon because she knows where to get the ball and it allows Jacqueline Pollack to play off it.
A couple other observations about the win:
— Bench center Val DiMuro was a quiet hero. Nanuet was pulling away 28-20 in the second quarter as K.C. Jentzen was drawing fouls inside and TZ was getting killed on the glass. DiMuro came in and immediately started gobbling up offensive rebounds. She had three stickbacks in the four minutes before halftime to get the game tied again. Her size gave the game a different feel.
— Kiera Brady (11 points, eight boards, five blocks) and Meagan Carley adapted to Jentzen very well. Like I said, Nanuet’s mobile forward was killing them for the first part of the game. She scored 12 of her 15 over the first 13 minutes. But those two defenders clamped down and limited her damage. Pollack also did a nice job on Lauren Kahn.
Nyack beat North Rockland 39-28 in the consolation game. I promised to talk about North Rockland’s struggles, and I want to do that in more than just a paragraph, so I’ll get into that tomorrow with no games on the schedule.