PRC basketball preparing for district play

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Pearl River Central’s Blue Devils girls basketball team took on the Greene County Wildcats Monday evening.

Greene County was 9-2 heading into the game and ended up defeating the Blue Devils 59-23.

However, the score can be misleading since PRC has struggled with injured players.

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The Blue Devils had multiple starters miss the game against the Wildcats as a result, yet the team was only down by six at halftime.

In the second half, Greene County used its size to dominate the boards and make a run the Blue Devils couldn’t come back from.

Breyanna Bernard is a key player for PRC because of her rebounding ability.

Her absence was sorely felt by the team as Greene County had 12 offensive rebounds and out rebounded PRC 38-25 overall.

Head Coach Tony Labella has had to shuffle the line up on a game-by-game basis because of the plethora of players who are out.

Adapting to the changes every game has been a tall task for the players as they embrace new roles.

“I think the hardest thing is just not knowing what the lineup is going to be every day. It sucks that it just comes up, you can’t prepare for it,” Labella said.

PRC has had to use several inexperienced players to make up for the losses and the youth on the court means the team has had some growing pains.

Some players are in positions they’ve never before played in, which led to some confusion on set plays.

“We were lined up in the wrong formations when we needed to run inbounds plays and set plays. All that goes to people jumping into a different spot,” Labella said.

The miscues led to Labella using timeouts to correct the mistakes, which caught up with the team in the long run when there were no timeouts left later in the game.

PRC also struggled with turnovers against Greene County.

The team had 25 compared to Greene County’s 13, another consequence of having new players in the lineup.

Now the Lady Devils have to prepare for West Harrison who they’ll play Dec. 13.

It’ll be the second away game in a row for PRC, which will be followed by another road game against Long Beach.

Labella said this stretch of the schedule will show where his team truly stacks up.

Having the ability to bounce back is especially important in basketball given the frequency of games and Labella said he wants his players to be able to overcome any obstacle they face.

“I have to do a better job, it doesn’t matter who’s in the game. I have to make them a little bit more mentally tough,” Labella said.

No matter the opponent the Lady Devils are focusing on themselves.

With so many players out, the only option is to get better every day and keep competing.

“We figure this is probably the toughest two game stretch of the season. We need to concentrate on us and get better. We need to be in better spots,” Labella said.

The game against West Harrison is set to tipoff at 5 p.m.