Hornets’ pressure too much for SL

Red Storm junior Nora Glover battles for the ball while teammate Serena Stevens follows the play. Glover led Saranac Lake, tying for game-high scoring honors with 10 points. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — When it comes to playing defense, first-year head coach Chad LaDue is liking some of the things he is seeing from his Saranac Lake girls basketball team.

But when it comes to handling defensive pressure and putting the ball in the basket, the Red Storm still have a lot of work ahead of them.

That was all evident on Friday, as Saranac Lake’s girls suffered a 46-19 setback to Plattsburgh High in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference action.

The Red Storm grabbed an early 4-2 edge, but quickly succumbed to Plattsburgh’s full-court press. The Hornets closed out the first quarter with a 13-point run to take control, and then turned up the heat even more in the second period to lead 30-8 at halftime.

Plattsburgh was never threatened after intermission as it built up a 44-16 advantage heading into the final quarter while coasting to its seventh win of the season.

Kelsey Leeret advances the ball for the Red Storm in front of Plattsburgh’s Lacy Wright in the first half. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

“We struggled handling their pressure,” LaDue said. “Even though we broke their first line, we didn’t make them pay when we had the advantage. We really struggled across the board with their pressure. I have to give Plattsburgh the credit. Their pressure was definitely a key component in their win.”

Seven players scored points for the Hornets, with Abbi Crahan and Kennedi LaValley leading the charge with 10 points each. Point guard Tenzin Pema and Lacy Wright chipped in nine points apiece in the win as Plattsburgh improved to 7-3.

Nora Glover led Saranac Lake with 10 points, Kylee Clark and Maggie Carpenter knocked down a three-pointer each for the Red Storm, and Mistre Newton also finished with three points on a layup and one successful free throw.

“Our press was very strong, it’s always strong, it’s our bread and butter,” Plattsburgh coach Tom Lacey said. “A few too many turnovers; that was the only thing I was a little disappointed with tonight. Our two best players are Tenzin Pema and Abbi Crahan, and they both played great tonight.”

“I always like the fight in our girls. They always play hard to the end,” LaDue said. “No one gives up, and I think they are very good teammates. They still are trying to get better at finishing. It’s something we’ve struggled with all year. Hopefully, we’ll continue to get better at it.

Alex LaDue attempts a shot for Saranac Lake in front of Plattsburgh point guard Tenzin Pema. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

“That’s been the story of our year: scoring,” LaDue continued. “A couple games, if the ball fell, maybe we’d be 5-5 instead.”

LaDue credited Olivia Bell with a strong game, praised Glover for a great job on the board, and said Maggie Carpenter and Kylee Clark with solid defensive efforts.

Saranac Lake’s girls are back in action Monday, traveling to face Tupper Lake in non-league game slated to start at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Plattsburgh 46, Saranac Lake 19

Saranac Lake’s Kelsey McCarthy, right, and Mecalyn Sousa battle for possession with Plattsburgh’s Catie Parker during Friday’s game. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

Hornets 15 15 14 2 — 46

Red Storm 4 4 8 3 — 19

Plattsburgh (46)

Wright 2-5-9, Pema 3-1-9, Crahan 5-0-10, Murray 1-0-2, LaValley 5-0-10, Megarr 2-0-4, O’Connell 1-0-2, Baker 0-0-0, Parker 0-0-0. Totals: 19-6-46.

Saranac Lake (19)

Olivia Bell, right, and Kylee Clark play defense against Plattsburgh’s Tenzin Pema during the second half Friday night. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

Clark 1-0-3, Carpenter 1-0-3, Leeret 0-0-0, Hurteau 0-0-0, Bell 0-0-0, Stevens 0-0-0, LaDue 0-0-0, McCarthy 0-0-0, Sousa 0-0-0, Glover 4-2-10, Newton 1-1-3. Totals: 7-3-19.

Three-point goals: PHS (2), Pema 2. SL (2), Clark, Carpenter.

Maggie Carpenter dribbles up court for Saranac Lake while Jodi Murray of Plattsburgh defends during the first half. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)