Any inch of space seemed to be enough for Syosset’s Carly Greenbaum Monday night.
The guard drained six of her eight three-point attempts in a 21-point performance, and led Syosset to a 58-37 non-league win at St. John the Baptist.
Greenbaum scored 12 points in the first quarter, going 4-for-5 from deep to give Syosset a 17-7 lead.
“I’m just pushing for my teammates," Greenbaum said. “When I hear them all cheering me on, it’s inspiring me to do even better.”
Naturally, the Cougars became much more cognizant of Greenbaum’s positioning on the floor as the game progressed. Greenbaum wasn’t nervous, only more confident with her teammates behind her.
Greenbaum didn’t net another flurry of threes, but was often a few steps ahead of the defense, assisting teammates in pick-and-rolls, on the elbow or even directing traffic while off the ball. She also finished with five assists.
“I know my teammates are going to be in the right spot,” Greenbaum said. “Knowing they are in the right spot, I want to look up to get them the ball, to get them open and get them some points.”
Kate Nelms scored seven points and Casey Ghamar and Melanie Lowe each added six for Syosset.
Nelms had a significant impact on defense, playing atop Syosset’s suffocating 1-3-1 full-court press. A 2-1-2 or 2-2-1 press is seen more often, so head coach Michael Ferreira wanted to throw a curveball immediately. And Syosset was aggressive from the jump.
Within the first minute of action, Greenbaum drained a 3-pointer and the defense forced a 10-second violation. Nelms was almost always involved in the backcourt traps that led to turnovers. In the half-court, she either guarded the ballhandler 1-on-1 or committed to a trap at the half-court line.
Nelms said: “I definitely think [defense] is a lot of work, but when you do make that steal, it’s the best feeling."