JOHNSTOWN - It had been 16 days since the Johnstown girls basketball team took the court for a game.
The Lady Bills didn't show any rust Friday night as they jumped off to a quick start, scoring 22 points in the first quarter and cruised to a 65-24 non-league win over Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons.
"This was a nice way to start the new year, getting everybody in," Johnstown coach Tim Derwin said. "Everybody scored. Overall, I was happy."
Johnstown’s Ellen Praught shoots over Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons’ Paris Jarrell during Friday’s non-league girls basketball game at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
The Lady Bills got into a rhythm immediately as all five starters - Lexi Swatt, Courtney Cirillo, Brianne O'Rourke, Emma Heroth and Hope Cerasuolo - had a basket in the game's first three minutes as Johnstown built an early 11-0 lead.
"I thought we came out and did what we needed to do, what we should have done," Derwin said. "Everything was flowing nice. We found a nice rhythm and did what we had to do."
Four of the five starters left the floor about six minutes into the game with Johnstown leading 19-2. They didn't take the court again until the start of the second half. Derwin substituted regularly throughout the rest of the game, using the wide margin to experiment with different combinations before the Lady Bills head back into Foothills Council play.
"We have a starting five, but I'm definitely experimenting," Derwin said. "We went with a little bit of a different starting lineup than we did in the first six games. We went with Brianna O'Rourke tonight and brought the senior, Jenna Hohenforst, off the bench. I'm fiddling with our best lineup too. It was a good game to work on those things."
All 12 players on Johnstown's active roster played in the game and all had at least two points. Emma Heroth led Johnstown (3-4 overall) with 11 points and Courtney Cirillo added 10.
"We're not where we want to be so a win is a step in the right direction," Derwin said. "I hope we can build on that. We've been in every game."
Johnstown will go back into Foothills Council play Monday when they pay a visit to the Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots, starting a stretch of three straight road games. They Lady Bills also will visit Queensbury and Scotia-Glenville before coming home Jan. 18 to face Glens Falls.
Since their loss to Hudson Falls on Dec. 19, the Lady Bills have been practicing as they prepare for the rest of their season.
"It's been a long 2 1/2 weeks of practice and keeping the girls interested and keep them moving," Derwin said. "What I've told them is, we've been in every game. We're 2-4 and we could have won any one of those four games, and it's just a few things that we've got to correct. These girls have made a resolution to make that change. It was a good 2 1/2 weeks of practice."
Johnstown 65, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 24
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons2 8 5 9 - 24
Johnstown22 10 16 17 - 65
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons
Brown 2-0-4, DelVecchio 1-0-2, Jarrell 2-3-7, Mattice 1-0-2, Sorrentino 1-0-3, Williams 2-2-6. Totals: 9-5-24
McCoy 1-0-2, S. Swatt 3-0-7, Anagnostopulos 0-3-3, Cirillo 5-0-10, Brandt 2-0-4, L. Swatt 2-0-4, Cerasuolo 4-0-8, Heroth 5-1-11, Nellis 1-0-2, Stock 1-0-2, Hohenforst 1-0-2, O'Rourke 4-0-8, Praught 1-0-2. Totals: 30-4-65.
3-point goals: Johnstown 1 (S. Swatt).