These are some of the notes and quotes from MacArthur's 56-37 win over Hicksville on Tuesday that didn't make the article. The newspaper has space restraints, but the blog doesn't.
** Kudos to Maria Lorenzo of MacArthur. The sophomore guard scored her first varsity points on free throws in the fourth quarter.
MacArthur dominating games of late: “We’re doing so much better as a team right now. We’re coming together at the right time and it feels like everything is clicking. We’re pushing the ball, being aggressive, making good decisions… Hicksville is a really good team, but we’re doing well right now and we came out on top.”
What was working so well? “We kept running the ball on them. We got some turnovers and we were pushing the ball in transition for some quick baskets.”
Amanda Gross’ sharpshooting: “It’s pretty nice. Once she gets that open shot, you don’t have to chase rebounds, she’s getting it in.”
(Couldn’t get it into the article, but shout-out to Grandpa Joe! He was in the stands, along with Jena’s parents, cheering hard for the Generals.)
Winning three straight: “It’s really important. We were very upset with how we played in that loss to Baldwin [52-42 on Jan. 6]. We can do better than that. Our last three games, we’ve come out and played our hardest.”
Dominating a quality opponent: “It means a lot. We’re playing well and we’ve got a feel for each other on the court... We have a lot of respect for Hicksville; they’ve got a great player in [Caitlyn] Garger. We just knew that we couldn’t let up because they could go on a run at any time.”
Containing Garger: “We tried to keep [5-5 guard] Sam Sherman on her. She’s our best defensive player and she always does a good job. And we brought some double teams. We didn’t want her to beat us.”
The offense running smoothly: “It’s been great. As a point guard, you’re just finding the open man. With Amanda, you get her an open shot and it’s almost a guaranteed basket. Courtney is so great at running the floor, and Vanessa is awesome on the boards.”
Seeing Amanda’s shot in practice: "She really doesn’t hit anything in practice. (Gross in the background can be heard saying, “Ouch!”) She saves it for the game, though, which is good."
The hot shooting streak. In the two games prior, she had set career highs with 15 and then 17 points: “Whenever I get the ball, I’m looking to shoot and if it’s not there, I’ll find someone to pass it to. But right now, I’m trying to be aggressive and look for my shot, and it’s been falling.”
Impressive victory over a good team: “It means we’re a good team. We hope we can keep this going into the playoffs. I think we can go far.”
Coach Kathleen Auer
Gross' jump shot: “It’s different, but she’s consistent. She may not start out [in a traditional form] but she sets her feet right and finishes traditionally. I can tell from her feet if it’s going in or not.”
Gross’ hot streak: “It’s been great. We like to run the ball a lot. We’ve been layup, layup, layup, but now we have some outside shooting to go with that. Jena, who’s a tremendous athlete and point guard, has been finding [Amanda] on the break.”
Noakes’ stellar performance: “She’s great all-around. She drives to the hole, she can dribble, rebounds well. She does everything.”
The defense (the Generals mixed it up with man defense and some 2-3 zone): "We’ve got [assistant coach] Greg Mayerhofer. If you know anything about Floral Park, you know that guy can teach defense. We’ve got a few things in our arsenal."
Momentum from having won three straight by an average margin of 24 points: “I hope we take a lot from this game. We’re gonna have to play everyone [in the conference] again. I hope it keeps going our way. We don’t want this to be the peak and come playoffs or the second half, we die down. I have a great group of kids that work hard and we want to keep this up.”