Fenton gets 3s to drop against Elgin

 
By Joe Coughlin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/21/2020 10:15 PM

As this sentence was being written, Fenton launched two more 3-pointers.

The Bison girls basketball team might have the most unusual style of play you'll ever see, and on Tuesday night, it was hitting on all cylinders.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Fenton's run-and-shoot strategy led to a season-high 14 3-pointers en route to a 73-38 rout of Elgin in an Upstate Eight Conference matchup.

"Our No. 1 goal is to sprint down the floor and beat the other team before their defense gets set up," Bison coach Dave Mello said. "And we either get an open 3 or dump it inside."

This is Fenton's third year under Mello and this offense, and in each of the first two seasons the team set a national record for 3-point attempts in a season.

On Tuesday the team launched 40 and sank 14, a big jump from the season average of 8, Mello said.

Eleven Bison made at least one 3-pointer and 13 scored, as Mello uses a hockey-like rapid-substitution game plan to keep his players fresh.

Sophomore guard Hailey Miller is becoming the exception to that rule.

Miller played about 22 minutes Tuesday night, a season-high total for any Bison the past three years, Mello said.

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"Her rebounding, handling the ball and shooting, we want to keep her out there as long as she could go," he said.

The sophomore finished with 8 points, 10 rebounds, plus a handful of steals and assists in the victory.

To her, the fast-paced offense is starting to come together for the young Bison, who roster four freshmen and five sophomores.

"I think we've definitely improved since start of season," Miller said. "We have a lot of girls coming up as freshmen and sophomores, so we've made a lot of progress all-around: rebounding, defense, offense, shooting."

The long-range onslaught isn't Fenton's only weapon. The Bison used an inside game to breakdown Elgin as well.

Sophia Haska had six baskets in the paint, winding up with a team-high 15 points, and Lisette Rodriquez and Aneta Lula added two apiece.

The well-rounded attack had Fenton out to a big early lead. Back-to-back-to-back 3s from Joni Lucas, Ashley Milano and Elizabeth Aguirre put Fenton up 23-5.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Bison led 23-7 after one quarter and 40-19 after two.

Elgin standout Giana Kilbert did what she could to keep her team in the ballgame, taking advantage of the soft spot in Fenton's zone to tally a game-high 27 points, including 11 in the third quarter and 9 from the free-throw line.

But Fenton kept the pressure on and drained five 3s in the third to kick-start a running game clock.

"We try to get a lot of passes and share the wealth and we work really well together," Miller said. "We work hard in practice. It's a lot of fun."

Brianna Tellez chipped in 8 points for the Bison, while Rodriguez added 12 rebounds. Elgin's Takara Campbell had 6 points to go with 8 rebounds, while teammate Tenacious Cadney tallied 5 rebounds and 4 steals.

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