Deuces Wild in Railroader’s Win Over Argyle

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By Keith Harrington

Deuces were wild Wednesday night at the Whitehall High School Gym. It was Senior night for the Railroaders two seniors Julia Arquette and Samantha Howland. Howland, who wears number 22 poured in 22 points in just her second game of the season after returning from a knee injury.

The young Whitehall squad honored their two leaders before the game, and then Boyd Hunt’s team went out and gradually pulled away from Argyle in a 48-19 Adirondack League win.

“These girls are already battle-tested in league competition. Hopefully having Sam back they can learn a little bit from her these last six games,” Hunt said. “They’ve already learned so much from Julia. I can’t commend Julia enough for what she’s done this year. She’s led this group pretty well. It’s commendable.”

Arquette had to change her position when Marissa Eggleston went down with an injury in the first game of the season but took it all in stride.

“She was kind of a role player last year. She was kind of a defensive expert. In the league championship game I brought her in for ten or fifteen minutes to shut down some people,” Hunt explained. “She came off the bench last year. She took on a new role this year when Marissa got hurt. She became the point guard and that’s not her true role. She’s taken that and she’s led this group pretty well.”

Whitehall took control from the opening tip. The Railroaders led 12-2 after a quarter. In the second Howland started to find her groove, hitting a pair of buckets and finding Haylee Pratt on a gorgeous high-low pass. Cheyenne Holman nailed a couple of deep 3-pointers and Whitehall had carved out a 21-9 halftime lead.

Howland scored eight of her team’s 14 points in the third, and Holman connected on another trey to make it 35-15 after three, all but putting the game out of reach.

Despite the long layoff Howland did not seem to be nervous about her knee, and looked at ease all evening.

“It feels great. I missed being on the court. I miss being with the team,” Howland said after the game. “I felt like I was ready. I think the hardest part is the mental aspect. I know my knee can hold up, it’s just like being worried about getting hurt. You just have to let that go.”

Although Hunt certainly would have preferred to have Howland in the lineup all season, he feels the experience of having to play much of the season without their all-star performer will prove helpful for his young players down the road.

“These girls, all of them have worked hard to this point. It’s going to bode well for our future,” Hunt added. “I always hate when people say reload or rebuild. You change. You change what you do, Because your personnel isn’t the same, but you’re just as good.”

Holman contributed 10 points for the Railroaders. Pratt chipped in seven.

Ava Cormie had six and Becca Campbell five for the Scots.

Hunt’s goals for the rest of the season are pretty precise.

“The rest of the way we want to win. Win as many as we can. Hopefully, win one or two in sectionals,” Hunt said. “But the biggest thing is to keep moving forward.

For Howland, after she’s all been through the last few months, her goals are fairly modest.

“I’m just looking to finish my senior year on a high note. I wasn’t expecting to get back and be where I am now. I love the game. I just want to play and get ready for coaches. I want to play in college.”

Whitehall is now 5-4, 6-10 on the season. Argyle is 0-10, 2-15.