Burgher girls combine savvy passing, strong defense for victory over Fort Ann

FORT ANN - The Warrensburg Varsity Girls Basketball team showed defensive strength and consistent offense as it defeated Fort Ann 45-22 on the Cardinals' home court.

Burgher Coach Scott Smith, frustrated at times this season, was enthusiastic Monday over the win.

"Finally we put it all together and played well," he said. "Our game plan was to intensify our defensive press which led us to easier baskets."

The Burghers plan worked well, overcoming a considerable height deficit, as the Cardinals were taller at all five starting positions.

The Burghers' defensive pressure forced turnovers, and patient, on-target passing led to consistently better shooting opportunities during their balanced attack, he said.

"The players worked the ball around well until they got the good open shots," Smith said.

Guards Carol White and Jen Durkin, both under 5'4", fought hard to retrieve the ball, grabbing a combined 18 rebounds, Smith said.

"Our players really hustled and sustained their effort for all four quarters," he said, noting that in the past, they had trouble keeping up the pressure in the final minutes of matchups.

But Friday, the Burghers kept expanding their lead incrementally as the Cardinals intensified their own effort.

"Our players closed the game out well, keeping up the momentum," he said. "We had excellent passing with better decisions - the girls trusted their teammates more."

Senior Carol White scored 17 points and 10 rebounds. Mercedes Maltbie hit 15 points and Jen Durkin scored 8 points and brought down 8 rebounds.

Aerealia Simpers, who held Fort Ann's leading scorer Breanna Moore to only 3 points during the first half, tallied 7 rebounds.

The Burghers' success against Fort Ann was preceded Wednesday night with a tough matchup against Hadley Luzerne. This game showcased the versatile talents of Eagle player Jesse Sussman who hit 35 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and the same number of steals in the 46-24 win over the Burghers. Sussman is one of the top players in the area.

Idle this week due to state Regent's exams, Warrensburg faces three games this coming week.

Monday, they compete against the talented Hartford team away, followed by a home game Wednesday against Corinth, which is now in 2nd place in the Adirondack League's Western division. Friday night, the Burghers meet up with North Warren at home.

Feb. 10, the girls meet up against Lake George, followed by a crossover game several days later. The next weekend, the Burghers compete in the Section II tournament.

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