Defense puts Whitehall in title game
Watching the Whitehall girls basketball team play defense is a work of art. Tuesday night even Pablo Picasso would have been impressed as the Railroaders fashioned yet another defensive masterpiece and cruised past Hadley-Luzerne, 51-29, in the Adirondack League semifinals.
It was the third win of the season for Whitehall over a very good Eagles team.
“It’s pretty to watch. A lot of people think the offense is the pretty part, but when it’s in front of me and we’re really grinding, it’s pretty to watch,” Whitehall coach Boyd Hunt said about his team’s defense. “When you can watch a team melt in front of you, that’s impressive.”
The Railroaders are known for their defensive prowess, but when they knock down shots they are doubly dangerous. That was the case in this contest. Whitehall shot the ball very well right out of the gate. Hadley-Luzerne knew right away they were going to have their hands full.
Forward Samantha Howland scored at will, pouring in 15 of her 26 points in the first half, nine in the opening stanza. The Railroaders built an 18-7 first-quarter advantage and increased the margin to 30-15 at the half.
Madison Gould and Ashlyn Groesbeck combined for another 15 points over the first 16 minutes and forced the Eagles out of their zone defense with their 3-point shooting.
“We really looked good offensively. We kind of slowed things down. We kept the pace at ours. We ground our offense out today,” Hunt added. “The biggest thing is, you look at the scoreboard, the 29 was the key to the whole thing. The first time we played them it was 36. The second time we held them to 34. We really got after it.”
Whitehall left no doubt about the outcome, opening the second half on a 10-0 run as the lead ballooned to 40-15. The Eagles finished the stanza with an 8-0 spurt but the damage was already done.
Free-throw shooting also played a role for Whitehall, which shot 9 for 12 from the line.
Gould and Groesbeck each added nine points for the Railroaders.
Jordanna Kenny scored nine points to pace Hadley-Luzerne. McKenzie Maslonka added seven.
Whitehall improved to 15-3 on the season and earned a rematch with unbeaten Corinth in the Adirondack League championship game Saturday at 5 p.m. at Hudson Falls. The Tomahawks won the regular season meeting 49-38.
“We’ll put together a plan. We always have a little bit of a plan,” Hunt said.
Defense no doubt will be a major part of that plan.
Hadley-Luzerne falls to 12-6.
Whitehall beaten by Lake George, 64-44
Lake George jumped out to an early lead and went on to defeat Whitehall, 64-44, in an Adirondack League crossover game last Wednesday night.
Jack Clark led the Warriors with 15 points. Nate Hohman chipped in13 and Jack Welch 10. Luke Sheldon grabbed eight rebounds.
Latrell Evans had 14 points and nine rebounds for Whitehall.
Cash Burgey recorded 17 points and Isaiah Stevens had six points and seven rebounds for the Railroaders.
Lake George is now 10-8. Whitehall is 12-7.