Hot Start Leads Railroaders Over Hadley-Luzerne

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By Keith Harrington 

Tuesday night’s girls basketball game between Hadley-Luzerne and Whitehall had all of the ingredients for one of the best Adirondack League games of the season so far. The Eagles came in with just one league setback and a couple non-league losses to much larger schools Ballston Spa and South Glens Falls. The Railroaders entered the evening unbeaten in league play with only a non-league defeat against a talented Mayfield team. 

Whitehall evidently wanted no part of turning this game into a thrilling showdown. The Railroaders raced out to a 16-4 first quarter lead and went on to defeat Hadley-Luzerne 53-36. 

Boyd Hunt’s team is known for their suffocating defense, but when the shots are falling Whitehall is doubly difficult to handle. The Railroaders shot 4-6 from behind the 3-point arc in the opening stanza to fashion the early advantage. Ashlyn Groesbeck knocked down a pair of treys with Madi Gould and Jayden Hughes each adding one each. Hughes also dished out three assists in the opening minutes. 

“They came out in a zone and if we get time we can knock some shots down at times,” Hunt said after the game. “We can play. And defensively we come out and pop a 16-4 quarter. Usually against us that’s pretty much the game.” 

Indeed it was. The Railroaders led by as much as 26-9 in the second quarter with Samantha Howland scoring nine of her team’s 14 points. The Eagles got five straight points from Jordanna Kenny to pull within 30-19 at the half. 

Whitehall put the game away in the third. The Railroaders opened the second half with a 9-0 spurt, and led by as much as 20. The Eagles managed to slice the deficit to 41-24 heading to the fourth. 

“I was impressed with the third quarter in the way we imposed ourselves.We kind of just took their will a little bit,” Hunt added. 

In the final frame Whitehall took their biggest lead of the night at 49-28 on a Blake Bird bucket. Hadley-Luzerne continued to battle but could never get closer than 15. 

Howland led Whitehall with a game-high 19 points. Gould added 15. 

Madison Lent had 17 points for the Eagles. Kenny chipped in 14. 

While it was certainly one of the strongest performances of the year for the Railroaders, Hunt stopped short of calling it their best. 

“Honestly the second half of the Mayfield game was probably the best we’ve played. Especially defensively,” Hunt said. 

Even though his team shot the ball well on this night, Hunt still knows defense is the Railroader’s forte. 

“You think about it, the most any team has scored against us all year is 46. That’s the impressive thing about what we do. Sometimes we just grind and grind and grind. I say to them it’s like boxing or an MMA fighter. We just wear them down,” Hunt explained. 

Whitehall improves to 6-0, 7-1. Hadley-Luzerne is 3-2, 4-4.