Seeing a 15-point deficit on the scoreboard at the end of the first quarter is deadening to any basketball team, and even more so when it happens more often than not. The James Buchanan girls basketball team has seen a similar situation on multiple occasions already this season - but you would never know by the team's vitality and hustle on the court.
Tuesday, the Lady Rockets took on a familiar opponent, Greencastle-Antrim, a team they have not beaten in more than six years, and despite a 33-13 deficit at halftime, James Buchanan never stayed down.
After losing a top shooter in Charity Miller last year, James Buchanan coach Jen Lauthers said the team has been struggling to find a solid core to lead the team, and has been "consistently inconsistent" through the first half of the season, playing "lights out" against Shippensburg one day, and losing to Greencastle 49-31 the next.
"We just can't seem to get girls who are working well together," Lauthers said. "We are all kind of in a funk right now, but we are working our way out of it. The kids are working really hard and we've got 14 girls on the bench that are just busting their rears to try and do what we need them to do."
Without Miller, the Rockets (4-10, 2-6 MPC) entered this season unsure of who would be the team's big scoring threat. Rachel Martin, who averaged more than 11 points per game last year, moved to point, but Martin has continued to lead JB, averaging just under 10 points per game.
"This year is a whole new learning experience," JB sophomore Cass Martin said. "We are still trying to figure it all out. In practice everyone is working hard, it's just trying to put it all together."
Rachel Martin led the Rockets with nine points against Greencastle (11-3, 2-6 MPC), while Aspen Anderson followed with six as the only two starters to score more than a point in the Mid Penn Colonial Division loss. But JB found some relief in the final quarter from the hands of Maggie Strawoet and Carlyn Caron, who each scored six points in the final eight minutes.
"I think they did well tonight, and that's part of the reason you get those guys in there," Lauthers said. "They're coming up and I'm excited for the next couple of years. I've never coached a group of kids that gave up, and I keep telling them, you have to keep plugging away and good things will happen."
"If were going to stop playing in the third quarter when were down we might as well all sit down because that is not going to help us," Cass Martin said. "We do not give up; it is not what we do here. It doesn't matter if we are down by five or down by 20, we put our best into it. Of course in the first quarter, when it's 15-0, it's hard. It's not fun to come off the court and look at that, but you can only try and you can only improve. If you're down, what do you have to lose?"
Notes: The Blue Devils had only four girls score, but three of them scored in double figures, led by Jenay Faulkner with 14 points, followed by Morgan Wagaman, who put up 14 points in the first half. Lydia Crist came in with 11 points, followed by Madison Sweitzer, who scored seven.