GREENCASTLE - On paper, Greencastle-Antrim lost at home to divisional rival Gettysburg in a girls basketball game Monday night, 54-38.

If you didn't know that, you'd probably think the Blue Devils won big, based on the postgame words of coach Mike Rhine.

"We just keep getting better, and when we continue developing players, all of a sudden these freshmen aren't freshmen anymore," Rhine said. "I'll take this team; I love this team."

Rhine and G-A knew going in that this was a benchmark game.

Since joining the MPC Colonial two years ago, the Warriors have never lost a division game (26 straight games), a reality Rhine instilled in his players well ahead of time.

"I told my girls they've played in more championship games as a group than some of our kids have started varsity games," Rhine said.

Understanding the challenge, Greencastle showed Gettysburg its best shot early - at the end of the first quarter the Blue Devils were on top 10-9.

"They were doing a good job of making us play slow, which is not what we want to do," Warriors coach Casey Thurston said. "When we get easy layups, it's kind of one of those things where we're just going to run and pitch and get the ball ahead to people."

That was the story of a much-more lopsided second quarter, in which Gettysburg outscored the Blue Devils 17-3. Forward Maddie Weikert reaped the benefits of the Warrior's fast break, scoring six field goals in the paint, including three in a row heading into halftime.

But even more overpowering than Gettysburg's offense was its defense, which completely stifled a hot G-A offense. The Blue Devils finally scored their first points of the quarter with just 1:11 left on the scoreboard.

Two key adjustments swung momentum in favor of the veteran Gettysburg squad - discarding its 1-3-1 zone in favor a trapping defense, and forcing G-A's low-post layup machine, Katie Gelsinger, to the bench with three early fouls.

"Katie can score every time she gets the ball," Blue Devils captain Chloe Hoover said. "We try to get it to her as much as we can."

With Gelsinger equalized by foul trouble and the shifting defensive play of Gettysburg's Arianna Camel and Weikert, Greencastle's outside shooters couldn't get much going.

Hoover, who led G-A (2-2, 1-1 MPC Colonial) with 16 points, was the lone Blue Devil still able to make the Warriors pay from the perimeter. Facing a 37-19 deficit midway through the third quarter, Hoover followed up a Gelsinger layup with a 3-pointer. After knocking down a fast-break layup on the following possession, Blue Devil fans were on their feet with the deficit cut to 11 points.

But Gettysburg's Cami Boehner had an answer.

She matched Hoover with a 3-pointer and fast-break layup consecutively to end any thought of a G-A comeback. With the score at 42-30 and the quarter coming to a close, Boehner hoisted up a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that was icing on the cake for what ended as a game-high 21-point night for the veteran guard.

"Cami got easy fast-break points," Thurston said. "She feels the game a little bit and can hit those open shots."

Despite being overcome by the more experienced Gettysburg - the Blue Devils have no seniors on their roster - Rhine believes his team has what it takes to be where the Warriors are someday after seeing how they handled the defending MPC Colonial champions.

"We just can't expect too much too soon," Rhine said. "Everyone has to chill out a little bit. We're going to take our lumps now - and down the road we'll be the ones sitting on top."

-----

Jeff Kolb can be reached at 262-4819 or jkolb@publicopinionnews.com.

-----

Gettysburg 54

Greencastle 38

GETTYSBURG

Cami Boehner 8 3-4 21, Caitland Wood 1 1-2 3, Arianna Camel 3 2-2 10, Maddie Weikert 7 1-1 15, Ellen Bair 1 3-4 5, Shye Whiteman 0 0-0 0, Alexis Rothermal 0 0-0 0, Hailey Bortner 0 0-0 0, Larissa Felton 0 0-0 0, Cierra Brown 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 10-13 54.

GREENCASTLE-ANTRIM

Hannah Crist 2 1-2 5, Chloe Hoover 6 1-1 16, Jane Herman 2 0-0 5, Katie Gelsinger 5 2-2 12, Lauren Powers 0 0-0 0, Ashlynn Schaeffer 0 0-0 0, Abbey Pool 0 0-0 0, Shelby Stouffer 0 0-0 0, Meghan Hirneisen 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 4-5 38.

Gettysburg 10 17 19 8 - 54

Greencastle 9 3 17 9 - 38

3-point shots - Gett 2 (Boehner 2); GA 4 (Hoover 3, Herman). Shooting - GA 16-46 (35%). Rebounds - Gett 19 (Weikert 9); GA 21 (Hoover 11). Assists - GA 13 (Crist 5). Steals - GA 6 (Hirneisen 2). Turnovers - GA 18. Fouled out - GA (Gelsinger).

JV: Gettysburg 35, Greencastle 16. Shelby Stouffer led the Blue Devils with 8 points.

Next game: Wednesday, at Boiling Springs, 7:30.