Williams’ 27 paces Piscataway in GMC semis

 

Williams’ 27 paces Piscataway in GMC semis

by Gregg Lerner on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 11:02 PM

Updated Tue, Feb 25, 2014 2:44 PM
Williams' 27 paces Piscataway in GMC semis

With a silky release to match her smooth court etiquette, Kendrea Williams is outfitted with all the accoutrements to alter the complexion of a game in an instant.

The soft spoken and mild-manner impression the 5-8 Piscataway sophomore casts is genuine but the warmth of her personality was no match Monday night when measured against the heat emitting from her accurate right hand.

With the steady aim of a marksman, Williams caught fire from 3-point range in the opening quarter, hitting three consecutive treys. When you’re as hot as she was, there comes a battle with temptation, to keep firing away until out of ammo. But, Williams is smarter than that.

“I needed to keep balance,” she said in regard to offsetting her long-distance shooting with dribble penetration. “Because they know I’m a shooter, I have to switch it up. When a defender comes out on me, then I drive to the basket.”

It was the string of threes that got second-seeded and defending champion Piscataway an early lead and it never relinquished the grip, pulling away for a 62-48 victory over third-seeded Monroe on Monday night in the first of two Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament semifinals played at South Brunswick High School.

The Chiefs (19-4), winners of seven straight, will meet 12th-seeded Bishop Ahr (16-8), which eliminated East Brunswick (16-5), the top seed, 41-35, in the nightcap, on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

Williams played a big part in Piscataway’s return engagement, shooting 10 of 19 from the field, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range, on her way to a career-high 27 points. Her fast start, which counted four jumpers, all beyond 18 feet, yielded 11 points in the first quarter and was enough to put Piscataway in front, 18-17.

The perimeter assault extended Monroe’s matchup a little further and opened up some lanes for the Chiefs to explore off the dribble. It was Williams who led that new course of attack with a layup to start the second quarter as the offensive operations moved inside the arc.

Junior guard Cindy Foresta, who scored a team-high 15 points, converted underneath for Monroe to trim Piscataway’s advantage to 24-23 with 3:19 left in the first half. The Chiefs responded with a 7-0 run powered by senior guard Kiki Bynes, who sank a tough baseline turnaround and backed that by teaming with junior point guard Taylor Nelson on a trap at midcourt, resulting in Bynes racing in for a layup and a 31-23 cushion.

“We still have to attack,” Piscataway coach Corey Floyd said, emphasizing how important penetration is to the overall plan. “We want to split the defense off the dribble with Kiki and Taylor. Once they collapse, we’re kicking it out Kendrea. That’s our forte.”

Bynes, who complemented Williams with 23 points, flaunted her exterior touch in the third, burying consecutive threes to spark a 12-2 burst that broke the contest wide open and built a 46-32 margin with 2:16 showing in the third. Not to be left out of the perimeter party, one that resulted in eight 3-pointers, Williams contributed her fourth to the burst while Nelson supplied half of her eight points to the surge.

By the time Williams drained the last of her five treys, Piscataway was comfortably in charge, 62-43. The last, a credit to Bynes, who had worked the Monore defense with her elusiveness off the dribble to stick three successive pull-ups to draw defenders toward the middle, thus setting up her kick out for Williams’ jumper.

“The same way we switch up out defense, going from 1-3-1 to zone to man, we like to switch up our offense,” Bynes said of the unpredictablity that can’t be overlooked. “Then, teams can’t figure out how to defend us. When I saw them leak out on Kendrea more, I went inside because that’s what I’m strong at.”

Sophomore forward Alliera McCoy grabbed 10 rebounds for Piscataway and Nelson dished out five assists. Junior Erica Junquet and sophomore Ashlyn Petersen each finished with 10 points for Monroe. Erin Seppi, a 5-10 sophomore forward, cleared nine boards for the Falcons while Petersen and Foresta added seven apiece.

Monroe (20-3)            17        11        06        14—48

Piscataway (19-4)      18        13        19        12—62

Monroe: Demi Rousseau 3-0-0-6; Erica Junquet 2-1-3-10; Cindy Foresta 4-1-4-15; Nichole Tatte 0-0-0-0; Erin Seppi 1-0-2-4; Ashlyn Petersen 3-1-1-10. Totals: 13-4-10—48.

Piscataway: Kiki Bynes 7-3-0-23; Meaghan Wells 0-0-0-0; Kelsey Nugent 0-0-0-0; Wande Adeyemo 1-0-0-2; Alliera McCoy 0-0-2-2; Kendrea Williams 5-5-2-27; Taylor Nelson 3-0-2-8. Totals: 16-8-6—62.

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

– See more at: http://www.msgvarsity.com/new-jersey/williams-27-paces-piscataway-in-gmc-semis-1.1576902#sthash.ZiXRSoSH.dpuf

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