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SportsHigh SchoolGirls Basketball

Jenna Lopez, Jourdin Thomas guide South Side

South Side's Jenna Lopez, who scored 16 points

South Side's Jenna Lopez, who scored 16 points and drew a tough defensive assignment, drives to the basket during her team's victory over Roslyn in Rockville Centre on Feb. 3, 2017. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Jenna Lopez has one job whenever she steps on the court. Play tough defense.

“Jenna is one of our best defenders. She does a great job against other teams’ best players,” coach Dan Ferrick said Friday night after South Side registered a 77-43 victory over Roslyn in Nassau A-II.

Lopez had two back-to-back steals in the first quarter. She applied pressure and scored 16 points.

Samantha Busch had a big day for Roslyn, scoring 15 points through three quarters and finishing with 30.

“I’ve defended a lot of good offensive players and [Busch] is their strongest point guard,” Lopez said. “This was one of my better defensive games. I’ve been practicing with my team, especially Jourdin [Thomas], who’s a great offensive player.”

Roslyn couldn’t stop the leading scorer for South Side (10-0). Thomas was a little cold at the start but that didn’t last long. She scored 15 points before the half, ending with 24 points and four assists.

“It’s all about the support from my team. Without them, I wouldn’t get those points,” Thomas said.

She also credited Lopez for her success.

“I put pressure on [Lopez] in practice. Playing as well as I can and giving her all I have on offense puts the pressure on her for defense and that makes her better,” Thomas said. “Likewise, her defense makes me a better offensive player.”

The Cyclones’ offense had Roslyn in a spin cycle. Katie McMahon scored 15 points and Gianna Mauro added eight points and eight rebounds.

South Side went 10-for-13 at the free-throw line. Thomas and Kelsey Barrett made all of their three-point plays. Mauro was 4-for-5 at the line.

“I like to do a double dribble and let it fly when I take my shot,” Mauro said. “It’s just you and the basket . . . You have to block everything out.”

South Side continued its undefeated conference streak. The goal is to earn a comfy seat in the playoffs as a top seed. Last season, they were the fourth seed and were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round.

Ferrick is determined for more.

“The whole goal is to get to the playoffs. Every game is a playoff game and every game we talk about seeding,” Ferrick said. “That’s what we want.”

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