By Tom Robinson
MANHEIM – Facing a bigger team capable to doing damage in the paint, JB Hoops Bucci needed some timely shooting to put away York Thunder 2020 in Monday’s final Pool A game at the Blue Chip USA Invitational.
JB Hoops got clutch shots from five different players over the final 5:10 to pull out the 42-35 victory.
With the win, JB Hoops finished 4-1 for second place in the six-team pool. It also finished as the only team in the pool to allow fewer than 200 points (40 per game) in the event.
The JB Hoops Bucci players returned to northeastern Pennsylvania Monday, then traveled to Chicago Tuesday to play in the Nike Nationals Wednesday through Friday.
“I thought this was really good as a preparation to go to Chicago,” coach John Bucci said after the program’s top National girls team improved to 15-1 in live events in front of college recruiters this season.
The offense came from a variety of sources on a day when Rachael Rose scored 10 points and 5 teammates supported her with at least 5.
After the Thunder closed within 30-28, Leah Hodick hit a 3-pointer then found Cecelia Collins for another on the next possession to open an eight-point lead. They were the fourth and fifth JB Hoops players to hit 3-pointers in the game.
Morgan Adams, the 6-foot York center who scored a game-high 12 points, cut the JB Hoops lead to 36-33 with 1:05 left.
Taylor Huyck, Lindsey Welsh and Rose, the players who had hit the other JB Hoops 3-pointers in the first half, each made both ends of a one-and-one in the final minute to put the game away.
Nya Johnson got JB Hoops out to a fast start. She scored six points in the first 6:19 for a 12-5 lead. She had three steals while JB Hoops was taking a 24-19 halftime lead.
Johnson finished with seven points and a team-high four steals.
Rose added three steals.
Huyck also scored seven points.
Welsh added six points while Collins and Hodick each scored five points and shared the team assist lead with three.