GLENS FALLS — Scoring has been an area that the Glens Falls girls basketball team has struggled with for the last couple of seasons.
But if the Indians can play defense like they did Thursday night in their own Glens Falls Grandstanders Holiday Tournament, they could win a few more games.
Junior point guard Sovereign Strickland scored a game-high 20 points as the Indians cruised to a 51-28 victory over Fort Edward.
In the pre-set tournament schedule, Fort Edward faces Stillwater on Friday at 5 p.m., followed at 6:30 by Glens Falls vs. Albany. Albany defeated Stillwater 84-20 in Thursday’s other game.
“We got a lot of shots — not a lot of them went in, but you have to start somewhere,” said Glens Falls coach Mark Girard, whose team improved to 3-5 overall.
Defensively, the Indians limited Fort Edward’s shot attempts, crashed the boards and neutralized sisters Mady and Gaby Thomas, holding them to 15 points — 10 by Mady Thomas.
“We’re still struggling scoring, but we defended really, really well,” Girard said. “We tried to take the Thomas girls out, which I think we did, and then we just kind of ground it out. It was nothing smooth for sure.”
“Defensively we’ve come a long way from the beginning of the season,” said senior forward Felicity Williams, who netted 10 points. “We have a bunch of new players this season and they’re younger, so they’re learning.”
Williams said using help defense and switching off players worked well, preventing Gaby Thomas from driving inside and forcing the Flying Forts (6-3) to take multiple shots from outside.
“The Thomas girls are very competitive, and I thought we did a really good job on them,” Girard said. “Sovereign’s defense on those girls was tough, and she got to the hole a lot, too.”
Glens Falls jumped out to a 9-0 lead before the Forts could score, and opened a 24-11 halftime lead with a driving layup by Strickland and a 3-pointer by Anna Bayle (nine points) in the final minute of the half.
The Indians extended their lead with a 10-0 run in the third quarter that put them up 39-17. Fort Edward got four 3-pointers in the third, two from Mady Thomas, to stay within 20 points, but Glens Falls cruised from there.
“Felicity gives us energy crashing the boards and coming up with garbage points,” Girard said. “We need that one consistent scorer to step forward, but we haven’t gotten that yet. ... Our kids always compete, no matter what we do. We don’t score all the time, but we do compete.”
“We just didn’t scrap like we normally do,” Fort Edward coach Jason Thomas said. “They’re a big, athletic team, and if you don’t play with 100 percent energy when you’re undersized, they took advantage of it.”
The lack of energy concerned coach Thomas, as the Forts saw their six-game winning streak snapped.
“I can live with mistakes and bad shots, but not having energy, that’s just a ‘want to,’” he said. “Give Glens Falls credit — the little bit of energy we had, they took out of us early and we never recouped.”