Whitehall-Coplay Press

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Girls rally falls short

Friday, January 12, 2018 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

Friday’s game against Freedom showed that the Whitehall girls basketball team can put together a dynamite stretch of basketball, but their furious rally fell short as the Patriots held on for the win.

After trailing by 22 points at the end of the third quarter, the Zephyrs began a slow ascent in the final frame that began when Grace Clary nailed a three-pointer to make it 38-19. It reached a fever pitch when Cassie Due’s pullup jumper tickled the twine for two, making it 48-34. Moments later, a hard foul sent Olivia George to the line where she sank two free throws, making it a two-possession game. But they couldn’t scale the mountain in the end, losing by six to their league rivals.

With the loss, the Zephyrs drop to 2-6 overall. However, they picked up an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference win with a victory over Emmaus last Wednesday.

They outscored Freedom 20-4 in that final quarter as Due, Clary, Olivia George, Ariana Hines and Alix Buskirk made the most of their opportunities, with Due (9 points) especially effective in that last quarter. However, head coach Dwight Repsher felt that they shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place.

“I wasn’t happy with anything before then [the final quarter],” said Repsher. “We were not ready to play.”

Repsher said that they just weren’t ready and didn’t play as soon as the ball was tipped, getting outscored by 14 points in the opening quarter.

“We didn’t play the way we wanted; we didn’t play the way we practiced; we didn’t execute things, and we didn’t until the end of the third, and then we played,” said Repsher. “It’s not good enough.”

In their game against Emmaus, he said they missed some shots, but they played well enough to win, but somehow didn’t carry that over to Friday’s games versus the Patriots. Granted, the Pates were 5-2 heading into that game, with both their losses coming against EPC teams (Easton and William Allen by a total of 11 points), but the Zephyrs still lacked that burst from the opening whistle.

They also had trouble contending with their inside presence, most notably Hailey Silfies who finished with 12 points. Kyra Jefferson was also a big factor in the game, finishing with 13 points.

In their win against the Green Hornets, the Zephs won every quarter except the third en route to the 36-30 win. Buskers led the way with 10 points, while Brianna Smith and Taryn Sayre each added nine. Both Smith and Sayre were effective from beyond the arc, with Smith nailing three, while Sayre drained two treys.

On Friday, the Zephyrs had trouble with Freedom’s pressure throughout much of the first half. The Pates generated a number of points off turnovers, and forced Whitehall into half court violations. But that pressure was negated when the Pates got too aggressive and began to foul, teetering close to putting Whitehall on the line about midway through the third.

Whitehall made them pay at the line, going 9-13, mots of those coming in the second half.

Repsher said that they can play well, and demonstrated that ability in that last quarter, but needed to do it throughout the whole game.

Clary led all scorers with 11 points, while Olivia George finished with 10.