Swish & Dish for Thursday, Feb. 27: GMC Preview

 

Swish & Dish for Thursday, Feb. 27: GMC Preview

by Gregg Lerner on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 10:03 AM

Swish & Dish for Thursday, Feb. 27: GMC Preview

Piscataway point guard Taylor Nelson looks to steer the second-seeded and defending champion Chiefs against upstart 12th-seed Bishop Ahr on Thursday in the Greater Middlesex County Tournament final.

Photo by Gregg Lerner

SWISH & DISH for Thursday, Feb. 27

GREATER MIDDLESEX CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT

CHAMPIONSHIP

AT RUTGERS ATHLETIC CENTER

THURSDAY

12-BISHOP AHR (16-8) vs. 2-PISCATAWAY (19-4), 6 p.m.

When last we metKendrea Williams clicked for 14 points and six rebounds and backcourt partner Kiki Bynes delivered 13 points and four assists when Piscataway registered a 51-41 decision over Bishop Ahr on Jan. 11. Jenna Harsh countered with 16 points and nine boards for Bishop Ahr. Piscataway used a 21-12 showing in the second quarter to build a 34-24 halftime lead, one that the Trojans cut in half by the start of the fourth quarter.

History lesson

Bishop Ahr seeks its first GMC Tournament title since 2001 while defending champion Piscataway has been the county measuring stick for the last decade. The Chiefs aim for their 10th overall crown and six in nine years.

Players to watch

Bishop Ahr: The work ethic of forward Brianna Foster is vital and inspiring to the Trojans. The ultimate competitor on the boards, she is unequivocally the tone setter and energetic beacon that teammates dran from. Over the last nine games, Foster has averaged 13.6 rebounds and 11.2 points. She embodies all the qualities of an invaluable senior leader.

Piscataway: A reserved court demeanor does a fine job disguising the perimeter assassin that lurks with sophomore Kendrea Williams. In the Chiefs’ 62-48 semifinal triumph over Monroe, she connected on 5 of 10 from beyond the arc in providing a career-high 27 points. But, defenders beware: flash too quickly in attempt to close out, and the slick sophomore will have no problem introducing her speed to the basket off the dribble.

What to watch for

Bishop Ahr used an exclusive 2-3 zone in its 41-35 semifinal triumph over top-seeded East Brunswick to deter penetration and the defense may once again be the choice of coach Kevin Harper. Guard Lauren Barlow and Ragen Reddick close off the middle with Elle Cimilucca and Jenna Harsh getting to the wings to challenge shooters.

Piscataway shot 8 of 18 from 3-point range in the semifinals but can’t get overly enchanted with the shot. Sophomore point guard Taylor Nelson is a patient orchestrator and, along with Bynes will need to test the defense by getting into seams to strike an offensive balance in the halfcourt.

Foster shoulders a great deal of the rebounding load for Bishop Ahr but will need an assist from the 6-0 Harsh to contend with the Piscataway frontcourt of 5-9 Alliera McCoy and 5-10 junior reserve Wande Adeyemo. Bishop Ahr guards won’t be excluded from boxing out considering how quickly Bynes, Meaghan Wells and Nelson get to the glass.

Relying on its man-to-man, Piscataway must contest with a confidence Lauren Barlow. The sophomore gets to the rim and combines body control with a delicate touch. It also must ignore the size of Harsh that offers the perception of a low-post threat. While she can do a number underneath, her range from the perimeter demands equal respect.

Gregg Lerner covers girls basketball for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @gregglerner

– See more at: http://www.msgvarsity.com/new-jersey/swish-dish-for-thursday-feb-27-gmc-preview-1.1577952#sthash.Oqbi8QTE.dpuf

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