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Hampton girls basketball beats Highlands

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
Louis Raggiunti
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal Amanda Reece drives to the rim as Hampton collected its first section win of the season.

This season's version of the Hampton Lady Talbots basketball squad is a stark contrast from its predecessors. In years past, coach Mary Bukovac had a rotation of about seven players she used to play a game.

This season, however, Bukovac used a rotation of 11 players in the section opener against Highlands. The result was a 67-25 win and a new formula for success.

“This is something I am unfamiliar with,” Bukovac said. “The young kids stepped up and proved themselves. We have the talent, and they have my trust.

“They will make some mistakes, but they will work through them. It is nice to see.”

Hampton has an array of talent: Senior guards Julie DiBucci and Brianna Intrieri combined for 10 points against Highlands, and Intrieri ran the offense with success.

“It is not hard to run this team,” Intrieri said. “Everyone knows where to go and knows how to set things up.

“It's easy to get the ball inside to Sara (Pilarski) and (Alexiss Griggs) or get it out to the shooters.”

Pilarski, a senior, and Griggs, a freshman, are progressing as a frontcourt tandem.

“We work hard with the guards to execute,” Pilarski said. “With me and Lexi and the guards working the ball in, we have so many good plays.”

Pilarski continues to be the team leader and knocked down 25 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the win.

Hampton opened the game with 15 unanswered points, and Highlands never recovered.

“Anytime you are on the road you never know what can happen, so getting off to a good start is important,” Bukovac said. “The kids really keep each other up. Brianna is a good leader and has really stepped up, and Sara is good inside. Colleges are looking at Sara for a reason. She has improved her footwork and is stronger.”

Pilarski has been next to unstoppable in the paint this season and is on pace for a career season.

She is the catalyst for the team, but with players like Amanda Reese, Jada Alim and many others chipping in a few points here, a steal or two there, Hampton has perhaps its most balanced team in a couple of seasons.

“We have always had talented girls playing, but we are playing as a team and working hard on and off the court,” Pilarski said. “We are always there for each other.”

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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