Whitehall sports round-up, Jan. 6, 2022

Crown Point rallies to beat Whitehall

By Keith Harrington

Early in the third quarter it looked as though the Whitehall boys basketball team was on its way to a win over Crown Point. The Panthers came into the night with an unblemished record, and Keith Redmond’s team was looking to change that.

However, a few lapses on defense by the Railroaders and 3-point shooting by the Panthers rallied Crown Point to a 61-54 non-league victory.

After leading 24-20 at halftime, the Railroaders fashioned an 11-point lead in the third quarter, pounding the ball into the paint to Brandon Bakerian, who scored six points in a row to help the Railroaders widen the distance between the teams.

A basket by Trevor Harris and seven consecutive points by Noah Spaulding pulled the Panthers within 40-39 before Bakerian responded to make it 42-39 Whitehall heading to the fourth.

In the final stanza Crown Point’s quick point guard Anthony Greenan took over. After Harris tied the game with a deep trey, Greenan sliced through the Railroader defense for six straight points to give the Panthers a lead they would never relinquish. Crown Point led by as much as 56-48 in the quarter.

“We had a two or three minute stretch where we lost on defensive intensity. That was the key to the game,” Redmond said.

Whitehall pulled within five on a few occasions but could not get any closer.

“I think we got a little lackadaisical with our help defense. Allowed them to go one on one without a second person coming over to help,” Redmond said. “We had talked about that. Coming over and making someone else hit the shot besides 13 (Noah Spaulding). He popped a couple big threes.”

The teams played toe to toe in the first quarter, finishing the period tied 12-12. Whitehall led by as much as seven at 24-17, but a pair of 3-pointers from Harris pulled the Panthers within 24-20 at the break.

Harris led Crown Point with 23 points. Spaulding added 18 and Greenan 14 for the Panthers. 12 of Spaulding’s points came in the third quarter, while eight of Harris’s came in the fourth.

Cameron Waldorf knocked down a pair of clutch foul shots for the Panthers late in the game.

Bakerian paced the Railroaders with 13 points. Burgey chipped in 10.

Whitehall now has a layoff before heading back to league play. Redmond feels his team will be fine. They just need to eliminate defensive lapses like the ones that plagued them in this game.

“We just need to get back to the way we played defense at the beginning of the year,” Redmond said. “We need to get back to the help side man to man. Our goal is fatigue people at the end. I think we were more fatigued at the end than they were.”

Crown Point is now 7-0. Whitehall is 2-3.

Whitehall girls romp on hardcourt

By Keith Harrington

Defense is typically mentioned as the strength of the Whitehall girls’ basketball team and although the Railroaders were solid on that end of the court again, their offense also executed to near perfection as Whitehall bounced back from its first loss of the season by rolling past Crown Point, 68-11, in a non-league contest on their home court.

Ten players put their names in the box score for the Railroaders, with six of them hitting for five or more.

“We got a lot of easy transition layups to get us out,” said Whitehall coach Boyd Hunt. “We actually ran our stuff really well today. We got a lot of layups off our stuff.”

The Railroaders came out quick, reeling off the first 17 points of the game before the Panthers got on the board. Whitehall led 17-2 after a quarter.

Hunt thought that Crown Point coming out in a man-to-man defense helped his team build an early lead.

“I was surprised they played us man because our man stuff is usually pretty good,” Hunt said.

Another strength of the Railroaders is their overall athleticism and ability to get out and run the floor.

“We don’t use it enough sometimes.” Hunt said. “We used it a lot better today. That’s one thing that is different about this group. We are pretty athletic and pretty long for the most part. And we can play physical too.”

The shooting went cold to begin the second quarter, but Crown Point couldn’t take advantage. A 3-pointer from the baseline by Jayden Hughes was the first Whitehall bucket of the period with 4:11 to play, but Crown Point had also not scored during the span. The Railroaders led 32-5 at the half.

Whitehall outscored the Panthers 36-6 in the second half and allowed only four field goals the entire game.

“One good thing is we’re learning how to win. Without Zo (Zoe Eggleston) and Ky (Kyrie Smith) we’re learning how to win and learning how to put some points on the board and where it’s going to come from,” Hunt said.

Samantha Howland led Whitehall with 18 points. Madison Gould added 16. Ashlyn Groesbeck chipped in eight. Hughes and Blake Bird had six each.

Gabrielle Mazotte had five points for the Panthers.

Whitehall is 5-1. Crown Point is 1-6.