Whitehall girls ‘struggle’ in sectionals
By Keith Harrington
The Whitehall girls basketball team entered the Section II Class C opening round game Saturday winners of nine of their last 10, and defense had been the catalyst, but Schoharie standout Jessica Meade proved too much for the Railroaders as she scored half of the Indians’ points in a 48-40 victory in Whitehall’s gym.
Whitehall coach Boyd Hunt was perplexed about his team’s slow start and defensive effort.
“We struggled mightily in the first half,” Hunt said. “Our best friend, our defense, failed us a bit and our plan was not executed properly. We ended up giving up way too many live ball turnovers and offensive rebounds.”
The Indians shook off the long bus ride quickly as they came out ready to play. Schoharie led 15-7 after a quarter and outscored Whitehall 12-5 in the second stanza to lead 27-12 at halftime.
The Railroaders attempted to rally in the third with an 18-11 advantage that pulled Whitehall within 38-30. The teams played evenly over the final eight minutes as the Indians held on for the win.
Meade was a thorn in the side of the Railroaders the entire game. Hunt was concerned about her scoring ability while scouting Schoharie and his worries proved to be justified.
“The Meade girl from Schoharie is a player,” Hunt said. “I was very scared of her coming in, but we did make things easy for them tonight.”
Meade netted 24 points to lead Schoharie. Abby Fagini added 12 and Chloe Towle eight.
Samantha Howland led Whitehall with 11 points. Ashlyn Groesbeck chipped in 10 and Madison Gould eight.
The young Railroaders will now lick their wounds and look to the future, which should be very promising with nearly all of their roster returning next year.
“It just was not our night. We fought back to eight points at the end of the third but that was it,” Hunt said. “We never really threatened from there. Very unexplainable but that is why you play the games. And we gave someone a chance to be Cinderella. So I guess we can say good season but not sure. Kinda feel empty right now.”
Whitehall rounds out the season 16-5.
Schoharie, 11th seed, improved to 15-5 and advances to play three-seed Berne-Knox at Greenwich in the quarterfinals.