Whitehall-Coplay Press

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Whitehall girls basketball falls to Allen

Thursday, January 16, 2020 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

Last Friday’s game began on a strong note for the Whitehall girls basketball team, but some missed opportunities gave Allen the opening they needed to seize the victory.

After ending the first quarter tied 10-10, the second quarter began with promise as Olivia Hines made a pretty inside feed to Cassie Due who was fouled on her layup attempt. The senior point guard sank both shots to give the Zephs a two-point lead.

However, the Zephs managed to score just six more points in that pivotal second quarter as the Canaries reeled off 19 points to take a 29-18 lead at the break.

Even though they sliced into the lead in the third quarter, beginning with a three-pointer by Grace Clary, followed shortly thereafter by a Due trey, eventually taking the quarter by three points, it was still too much to overcome as Allen won the game 46-34.

In that second quarter, the ball just wasn’t falling for the Zephyrs who were getting good looks. Those misses were further hampered by the work done inside by Allen’s frontcourt, namely Jakayla Wise who effectively swept the glass, preventing Whitehall from getting second shots.

Wise was also good at stopping penetration in the lane, cutting off a number of players who attempted to drive to the hoop.

Head coach Josh Madas said that part of their problem was their inability to rebound the ball, especially on the offensive end, and that made a big difference.

And while they weren’t connecting from the perimeter, he still liked their aggressive mindset on the offensive end.

“The fact that we weren’t shooting well and putting up points, says a lot about how we were attacking,” said Madas.

He said that it was important to crash the boards in that game to get some follow-up shots, and when that doesn’t occur, it makes it difficult to get back into games.

“We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole, and we spent the rest of the game trying to catch up,” said Madas.

They had it to 38-30 after Katie Kelly’s three late in the third quarter, but the Canaries outscored the Zephs 8-4 in that final frame to secure the win.

Allen’s quick guards also posed a problem, often times getting into the paint for layups. Both Shanaiya Ellis and T’nyah Riggins were a difficult match for the Zephs, scoring a combined 17 points for the Canaries.

Hines had a strong game for the Zephyrs. She continued to challenge Wise, often using her quickness to roll to the basket for a bank shot. She finished with nine points to lead the Zephs.

Additionally, Due played well, finishing with seven points, while Clary and Kristin Laky each netted six for the Zephs.

It was a pivotal game for the Zephyrs who face an uphill battle to reach the playoffs. With the loss, they’re now 5-9. They have two more non-division games starting with Bethlehem Catholic this week, followed by a tilt against Pocono Mountain East. Once those are completed, they dive into Eastern Pennsylvania Conference divisional games which are always a challenge.

Madas said they were aware that they needed these games to get back on track. He said the team battled, showing how much they wanted to be in the playoff picture, they just came up short.

“Our goal here now is just to improve every day, and if we do that, we can win some key games,” said Madas.