MANCHESTER -- Earlier this week at practice, Burr and Burton Academy girls basketball coach Ed Panzarino added a new wrinkle to the BBA defense -- a full court press.
The Bulldogs debuted its press against Windsor on Thursday night, and boy, was it effective.
BBA went on a 20-0 run from the middle of the third quarter into the fourth in a 60-37 win over the Yellowjackets.
"Our whole team has been focused on defense, if we stay together and talk and support each other, we get good steals," said junior Maggie Oliver. "It turns to offense and we're fast on the other end."
The Bulldogs (5-7) came up with 16 steals on the night, including five from Deidre Walsh, five from Hailey Brockett and four from Hannah Nicholson.
"We just started the press this week, we're a fast team, but we have a problem with fouls," Oliver said.
After a sloppy first half ended with BBA ahead 24-20, the teams traded scores -- including two by Nicholson, who had 10 points, to make it 34-28 with 4:33 left in the third. Then the Bulldogs turned up the wick, forcing Windsor (7-4) into turnovers and poor shots.
Brockett jumped the lead to 10 on a nice feed from Tessa Roberts, and on the next play, a Nicholson steal led to a Roberts basket, forcing Windsor coach Bruce Mackay to use a timeout to regroup.
"We wanted to push the envelope, put them in position for easy baskets and boost the confidence," Panzarino said.
No amount of regrouping would help the Yellowjackets.
"We've taken our lumps lately," Panzarino said. "Tonight was a big game, we just wanted to get back to basics and play hard, we haven't done that through all four quarters in a couple of weeks. We came out in the third quarter, took it to heart and played well."
Panzarino subbed in and out in the final quarter, and 10 of the 12 players on the roster reached the scoresheet.
"It's nice to see balance, Deidre Walsh played fantastic," Panzarino said. "We had some mismatches on the inside, and it was a great game for Hannah, she's been working hard and not reaping the benefits."
Ashleay Wilcox led the Windsor team with 10 points.
The Bulldogs improve to 5-7, and look to solidify their spot heading into the postseason next month.
"We're looking for confidence and they are buying in to what talent they have," Panzarino said. "We can do some things."