WASHINGTON TERRACE — Courtnie Porter tipped the ball to Jenna Czarnecki, Czarnecki fired a pass to Karly Conolly, Conolly took two steps and made a layup.
That sequence for the Bonneville girls basketball team was right from the opening tip. Conolly’s basket went in just four seconds after the game started. The race was on.
There was a lot of that Tuesday as the Lakers beat Morgan 84-70 in a back-and-forth game that more resembled the start to the indoor track and field season.
That’s how the Lakers, the defending Region 11 champions, want to play this year.
“I think it takes a lot of pressure off of people who are our main scorers, because then we can get the ball up the court and get quick layups instead of having to set up a play,” senior Karly Conolly said.
Bonneville’s strategy to get out and run, helped by a team filled with speedy guards, worked well. Head coach Tyler Dunyon said he may have only called three half-court sets in the entire game.
As a team, Bonneville shot 29 of 41 from the free-throw line and scored triple the amount of points Tuesday than it did last week against Syracuse (28). The problem last week, Conolly and Dunyon said, was an inability to finish at the rim. Tuesday was a 180-degree turnaround.
“We’ve got athletic kids and I don’t want to limit their potential in a set,” Dunyon said. “We’re going to transition, we’re going to run, we’re going to press. If you look at the first quarter, (we’re) fresh, right?”
Czarnecki, the team’s junior point guard, scored 15 of her game-high 25 points in the second half on a variety of twisting drives, 3-pointers and free throws.
Senior Ashley Croyle scored 16 of her 23 points in the second half. Conolly added 14 points and Lily Hall scored 12 as four Lakers scored double figures.
Four Morgan players scored in double figures, led by Meagan Matthews’ 14 points. Alexa Brooks scored 12, while both Sydney Cragun and Ashlyn Morrell had 10.
The Lakers jumped all over Morgan in the first quarter, forcing new Morgan head coach Sterling Mack to call a timeout less than a minute into the game.
Bonneville ended the first quarter leading 22-7 and between quarters, Mack, who was whistled for a technical foul later in the game, implored the Trojans to be more aggressive and shoot more. Morgan’s demeanor flipped and that 22-7 deficit was suddenly 22-16.
“It was belief. That first quarter — it’s a new system, new coach, new girls, we’re just trying to figure out things,” Mack said.
At this stage, three games into the season, Mack wants to see fight from the team. The Trojans eventually took that double-digit deficit and trailed just 44-39 after a Brooks layup. But they couldn’t get any closer despite going 21 of 27 from the foul line.