Zephyrs rally for a win
Shortly after Whitehall gave up its second half lead midway through the fourth quarter, Katie Kelly came running down the court after a steal, splitting the defenders for a layup and foul, putting the Zephyrs back on track toward victory.
Prior to her bucket, Pine Grove had gone on a 13-2 run, taking a 35-33 lead before Joey Shaul ended their scoring drought with a layup.
With the score knotted at 35-35, Kelly forced the turnover which led to the basket, igniting Whitehall’s rally. That rally gained more steam after Kelly’s miss at the free throw line when Grace Clary emerged from the scrum to corral the rebound. While still on the ground, she found Cassie Due who drove to the basket and converted a tough layup.
Clary added a three-pointer on their next trip down the floor, opening a 42-35 lead, an advantage they wouldn’t surrender as they defeated the visiting Cardinals 46-38.
It was another case of Whitehall having to find a way to fight back from adversity during a game. The Cardinals used the quickness of guard Mikali Donmoyer (12 points), and the playmaking ability of fellow guard Rachel Frew (8 points) to help them take the lead in the second half. But the Zephyrs weathered the storm, led by Kelly’s 14 points that helped secure their sixth win of the season.
Senior guard Taryn Sayre, who finished with six points, said that after they made their run to start the second half, making baskets from both inside and beyond the arc, they “kind of got comfortable.” At one point they held a 27-20 lead and the game seemed well in their control. That lead was highlighted by a nice entry pass from Ella Laky to Olivia Hines in the post for score.
But once the Cardinals took the lead, she said that they knew they had to bear down and play their game.
“We knew that this was our game,” said Sayre. “We just had to try extra hard and we ended up coming back and got the win.”
Some of their games that have followed the same scenario have slipped away from the Zephyrs this season, but on Saturday they didn’t let Pine Grove’s big run toss them aside.
“We’ve had a lot of close games this season,” said Sayre. “We’re starting a new program with a new coach, and we’re just trying to get into a rhythm.”
Sayre said that it’s been a tough season with a lot of hard-fought games. It’s been a part of their learning process as they’ve adjusted to one another throughout the year.
“We’re starting to feel more comfortable playing with each other,” said Sayre.
They’re also playing without senior Olivia George who’s sidelined with a season-ending injury. The veteran guard was a prominent piece in their offense, and that’s also been difficult to overcome.
With Saturday’s victory, the Zephyrs have won two of their last three games, defeating Emmaus last Tuesday, but dropping a tough one to Nazareth last Friday.
This week they play the best team in the Skyline Division of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference as they host Northampton (16-2) on Tuesday.
Sayre said that they’re going to begin preparing for the Kids, knowing it’s going to be a tough task.
“We’re ready to come in Monday and work really hard,” said Sayre.
It’s what they’ve been doing all season.