In the midst of a tight game, most teams rely on their seniors to lead them to victory.
But for Fox Lane Friday, it was the play of underclassmen Tara Lombardi and Maria Violante that anchored the Foxes in a 73-62 overtime win at Pelham.
For most of the night, Pelham controlled the pace of the game with intense press defense, but the Foxes’ (4-3) youngest players did what was needed to take momentum and the game.
Lombardi, a freshman, led the team in scoring with 18 points while adding five assists and four steals.
Violante, an eighth-grader, finished with 17 points and led both teams with 22 rebounds.
“She has the innate ability to be in the right spot at the right time,” Fox Lane coach Kris Matts said of Violante’s play. “She’s been really stepping up for us lately.”
“We expected her to be good, obviously being an eighth-grader on varsity, but not this good.”
Matts was excited with the way the team responded to adversity in the second half of the game to outlast the Pelicans, and believes, with a bit more experience, the Foxes should be discussed as a team to be recognized.
“I was right about our team having heart,” Matts said about his preseason notions about his squad.
“If we can learn from our mistakes, we can be one of the teams to watch moving forward.”