Simmons and Teal lead rally as Penfield downs Mendon

The Penfield girls’ basketball team (No. 8 NYSSWA Class AA) improved to 10-0 on the season with a 64-49 victory over Pittsford Mendon (No. 1 NYSSWA Class A).

By PAUL GOTHAM

MENDON, N.Y. — It was a matter of a defensive adjustment. Once made the Penfield girls’ basketball team found its offensive stride and went on to avenge past setbacks.

Nyara Simmons posted a double-double, and Baylee Teal poured in a game-high 22 points as the Patriots (No. 8 NYSSWA Class AA) rallied to defeat Pittsford Mendon (No. 1 NYSSWA Class A), 64-49 Tuesday night.

“That one was cool because Mendon is a great team,” said Penfield coach Mark Vogt. “We knew we needed to play our style and push it and play advantage basketball.”

The inside-out game of Simmons and Teal highlighted a run early in the second quarter that gave Penfield a lead it never surrendered.

Trailing by seven, Simmons finished a pair of baskets in the paint. Teal followed with two of her six 3-pointers on the night. Her triple with from the top of the key gave Penfield a 24-23 edge.

“We were all moving very well around the perimeter,” Teal explained. “We didn’t stay in one spot too much which helped because when we tend to stay they can guard us easier.”

Three minutes later, they took a 36-28 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

 

“I definitely think getting touches into Nyara and her kicking it out was good,” Teal noted. “They would collapse on Nyara and leave us open on the perimeter.”

The duo combined for 18 of Penfield’s 26 second-quarter points. Brianne Moxley added seven in the stanza including a triple from the right corner as the horn sounded to end the half.

“In the beginning of the game, we played their basketball,” Vogt stated. “We played five on five, walk it up. They’re great at that.

“Our goal is to try and fatigue the other team mentally and physically, go on a little run somewhere. When you’re tired at the end of games teams don’t make the shots they make in the first quarter, even a team as good as them.”

Nina Nesselbush scored four points in the first quarter, but the senior’s defensive presence played a key role in the Patriots’ victory.

“We put Nina on (Alana) Fursman because she was going down to the block,” Vogt explained. “Nina’s a strong post defender. Fursman’s a guard too so we started with a guard on her.”

Fursman, Mendon’s leading scorer averaging better than 17 points per game, scored four in the first quarter. The senior finished with 10 for the game.

“Our offense comes from our defense,” Teal noted. “So that was a really big part of tonight.”

Simmons scored back-to-back baskets early in the third, and Teal pushed the Patriots’ advantage to a dozen with another trey.

“She shot the ball when we needed it when we were having trouble scoring,” Vogt said of Teal. “We stopped setting up plays and we just started flowing into the offense. She’s great in that situation. She’s so quick. She can get it into the paint. She’s a great 3-point shooter. She was finding her teammates. She was finding Nyara. This was a good game for Baylee.”

Mendon cut the lead to two before the end of the third quarter. Katie Bischoping put bookends on a 12-2 run with a bucket underneath and a 3-pointer of her own to make a 45-43 game.

Teal hit a runner in the lane to end the third and a pull-up 3-ball early in the fourth. Moxley scored 10 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter.

 

“We were excited to play them,” Teal said. “We came up short the past two years. We were definitely ready and excited to play. I’m glad we could finally beat them.”

Teal handed out six assists. Simmons had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Nesselbush grabbed 10 boards.

Bischoping hit four 3-pointers and paced Mendon (9-1) with 18 points. Ellie Mooney added 10.

Other scorers: Penfield – Haley Emmick (3), Katherine Rinere (2). Mendon – Courtney Naugle (3), Danielle Strauf (3) and Lexi Green (5).

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