By Tom Robinson
MANHEIM – Maria Belardi had a perfect second half shooting and sparked a defensive effort that forced 30 turnovers Sunday to lead JB Hoops to its third straight victory in the Blue Chip USA Invitational, 61-55 over Ste-Foy Elite Laroche from Quebec.
Belardi went 5-for-5 from the floor, including her only 3-point attempt, and also made her only free throw while scoring 12 of her team-high 16 points during a five-minute, second-half outburst.
The 5-foot-9 guard from Scranton Prep jumped into the passing lanes and Ste-Foy self-destructed with a series of traveling violations.
Ste-Foy had 10 turnovers, more than half of them on traveling calls, while getting off just 3 shots during the first seven minutes of the second half.
Belardi provided 12 of the last 15 JB Hoops points in a 27-4 run to a 58-33 lead with 4:47 left. She put together a personal seven-point streak that included a drive for a three-point play and another drive to the basket after a steal. Belardi also hit a 3-pointer, then turned another steal into a basket for the game’s biggest lead.
Ste-Foy closed with a 22-3 run, but never seriously threatened.
Clair Marion scored nine points and dished out three assists.
Claire Dougherty grabbed 10 rebounds, including 8 of the team’s first 13 in the first 7:18 of the game.
“I’m just always looking to get rebounds,” said Dougherty, a 6-foot-1 center who started as a freshman at Lake-Lehman. “It’s something my dad is always pushing.”
Anna Scoblick was one of three JB Hoops players with seven points and was also the team’s second-leading rebounder with six.
Trinity Johnson and Rachel McDonald also scored seven points.
JB Hoops Rose is one of three teams at 3-1 in Pool H. It concludes the schedule Monday morning at 10:20 against Connecticut Northstars Dacosta (2-2) while the other two 3-1 teams – Lady Runnin Rebels 10 and Mid Penn Motion 2021 – play each other.
MORE TO COME: Return to the JB Hoops Blog for more details on Sunday’s final game.