WILKES-BARRE - The suspense and strangeness of facing her old teammates sitting on the opposite bench wore off for Quinniea Gross a couple of weeks ago.
Her ability to put the ball in the basket against them never did.
Sisters Quinniea and Quieterriua Gross combined for 40 points Thursday, leading their new school Meyers over their old GAR team, 53-45 in the first round of the Meyers Girls Basketball Christmas Tournament at Meyers High School.
“When you step onto the basketball court, you don’t have any friends — except for your teammates,” Quinniea Gross said.
Seems she wasn’t in the mood for exchanging past pleasantries.
Quinniea scored 11 of her game-high 22 points in the second quarter to help Meyers forge a 30-26 halftime lead, and her sister Quieterriua added eight of her 18 in the third period to help the Mohawks crack the game open with a 42-31 advantage.
Both sisters played for GAR’s District 2 playoff team last season, before their family moved “right around the corner” from Meyers, Quinniea said. “I love this school,” she added.
“Any time you play against your old school, obviously you’re going to have extra motivation,” Meyers coach Chris Gray said. “But I think they’re to that point where, every game, it’s just important we go out and get a win.”
“I want to contribute, and I want to win,” Quinniea said. “I want our team to be the best.”
Besides, she already went through the first-time jitters of playing against her old school when Meyers played at GAR on Dec. 11. That game, which included a return to her old high school gym, was a little more nerve-racking, Quinniea said. This one was more about beating another team, rather than her old teammates.
“I knew it was going to be a tough challenge for us to beat their team,” Quinniea said. “They’re going to want to beat us.”
Marie Skrepenak led GAR’s charge for awhile, scoring seven points in the first half on her way to tie for team-high with 11 points. And Brea Seabrook scored six of her 11 points in the second quarter as the Grenediers pulled within four points entering the second half.
But the Gross sisters took over the second half, and each of them scored four points in the fourth quarter to keep GAR at arm’s length.
“It’s always tough coming off two days when you don’t get to practice,” said Gray, whose team will face Coughlin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the tournament championship game at Meyers. “And our point guard (Brianna DiMaggio) was under the weather - she tried to give it a go, but she couldn’t play. I thought the girls did a nice job picking up the slack for her offensively.”
Meyers 53, GAR 45
GAR (45) — Bre Mosier 4 0-0 8, Majedah Nealy 1 0-0 2, Brea Seabrook 3 5-8 11, Maria Skrepenak 5 1-2 11, Sheriyn Taylor 3 0-0 7, Ayanna Warren 3 0-0 6. Totals 19 6-10 45.
MEYERS (53) — Brianna DiMaggio 0 0-0 0, Salimah Biggs 0 1-4 1, Alaena Lloyd 3 0-0 7, Quinnea Gross 9 4-5 22, Quieterriua Gross 8 2-2 18, Tiffany Nuniz 1 1-3 3, Gianna Skaff 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 8-14 53.
Three-point goals — GAR 1 (Taylor); MEY 1 (Lloyd).