By Christopher Smith
---- — DERRY — Pinkerton was without its best player and lone senior, Sam Breslin, who sat out after being in a car accident. But that wasn’t a problem.
Colleen Fortier, Val Martin and Brandi Bonneau all brought their A+ games, leading the Astros to a 55-44 win over Londonderry last night.
The win marked the first for the Astros over the Lancers since March 9, 2010.
Londonderry crushed Pinkerton twice last year, winning the first meeting by 14 points and the second by 23. The Lancers won by 19 and 20 margins over the Astros in 2011.
This was the second straight game that the Astros (15-1) were without Breslin, who was on the bench helping coach her teammates.
“(Not having Breslin) makes us come out twice as hard because she’s our quickest player, she leads our team, she helps us with our defense,” Martin said. “We had to work twice as hard tonight.”
Fortier netted a career-high 21 points, including four 3-pointers. She poured in two 3’s in consecutive Pinkerton possessions early in the third quarter to give the Astros a 30-21 advantage. A 3-pointer from the corner with 3:55 left in the game put Pinkerton ahead 45-34.
“It felt good,” she said about her shot from long range.
Martin netted 17 points — three points shy of her career high. She scored seven of her teams first 12 points during a 12-2 run.
Bonneau, meanwhile, did a fine job defending Londonderry superstar Aliza Simpson, who was an Eagle-Tribune Super Teamer last year and has been offered scholarships from UNH and Holy Cross. Bonneau held Simpson scoreless in the first half and to just four points in the first three quarters.
“Originally, it was suppose to be Sam (guarding Simpson), but Brandi stepped up big time and definitely helped us contain Aliza,” Fortier said. “Aliza is a good basketball player. We just needed to step up and play team defense.”
Pinkerton coach John Barry said Breslin is his team’s best defender.
“Brandi is our second defender,” Barry said. “And Brandi stepped up wonderfully. And the other kids were hedging off screens and recovering. We got a nice charge taken (by Fortier in the fourth quarter). They were banging for the boards. They were doing all kinds of things.
“And I don’t want negate what Val and Colleen did,” Barry added. “That’s terrific. I’m very proud of both of them. But we played six girls, mostly five, and the five that played — every single one of them provided a lot for us, pressuring the perimeter because they (Londonderry) can shoot the ball.”
Simpson finished with 11 points for the Lancers, which dropped to 9-3.
“That was probably her weakest effort (of her career) at least from statistically making shots — not necessarily the effort physically,” Londonderry coach John Fagula said about Simpson.
Pinkerton 55, Londonderry 44
Londonderry (44): Jaime King 3-2-9, Jenna Conroy 2-0-5, Aliza Simpson 4-2-11, Liz Caron 1-2-4, Katherine Dzenis 0-0-0, Taylor Collins 1-0-2, Jordan Marett 4-1-11, Brittany Roche 0-0-0, Casey Evans 1-0-2. Totals 16-7-44 Pinkerton (55): Kayla Stacy 1-3-5, Marissa Stacy 0-0-0, Colleen Fortier 8-1-21, Brandi Bonneau 1-5-7, Val Martin 7-1-17, Corina Moore 1-2-5. Totals 18-12-55
3-pointers: L — King, Conroy, Simpson, Marett 2; P — Fortier 4, Martin 2, Moore
Londonderry (9-3): 8 6 15 15 — 44
Pinkerton (15-1): 12 10 14 19 — 55