By Sean Lynch
CENTRAL VALLEY — Monroe-Woodbury center Jamie Waldron had sweat rolling down her forehead seconds before the game even started against Washingtonville.
Her lungs were stuffed with mucus, and her forehead was covered with sweat, but she somehow managed to suit up for the Crusaders.
Despite playing with flu-like symptoms, Waldron finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists in a 66-48 win over the Wizards.
“Today was really hard because I’m not feeling my best, but we did great as a team,” she said. “We got the ball up-and-down the court and we were able to limit them to mostly shots around the perimeter because of our tight defense in the paint.”
Washingtonville took 24 shots from three-point range, and only made eight, with six coming from Victoria Pecovic, who finished with 20 points.
“We tried to take her (Pecovic) out of the game from the get-go,” said Monroe-Woodbury head coach Pat Harris. “She can make shots from anywhere on the floor, and she did that tonight. We always had someone watching her and she still made six 3’s.”
Offensively, the Crusaders wanted to control the tempo and make the right passes. They did just that, totaling 15 assists. “I think 15 is a season-high for us,” added Harris. “But tonight we just wanted to move the ball around and get good looks at the basket, and we were able to do that.”
Monroe-Woodbury shot 45% from the field (22/49). They were led in scoring by Taylor Neely with a season-high 24 points, Toni Neely with 13 points and 4 assists, and Melissa Alfano with seven points, 13 rebounds and three assists.
Taylor’s 24 points were a season-high for her. She went 8-of-16 from the field, including 5-of-7 on three-pointers. She was happy with her stroke from beyond-the-arc, but knows what she has to work on in the future.
“Everyone has to improve on something. Today I had a great game shooting-wise, but I need to make my layups. But we got the win against a team that’s beaten us the last two times, so overall I’m happy with how we played as a team.”
Washingtonville beat Monroe-Woodbury twice last season, including in the Section 9 Class AA quarterfinals. Waldron & the Crusaders wanted revenge this time-around.
“No matter how sick I am, nothing will stop me from playing against Washingtonville,” Waldron added. “They beat us in the playoffs last season, and we’ve wanted to beat them badly ever since. Even though I’m feeling like crap right now, it still feels great to beat them.”