The Warriors lost three games in a row before their current winning streak
Two weeks ago, Gettysburg had lost its third straight game and was "reeling in the wrong direction," according to head coach Jeff Bair.
Now the Warriors have won three in a row and seem to be back on track.
Gettysburg (12-5, 7-5 YAIAA Division II) picked up its third straight win on Wednesday at home, beating Dover, 58-44. It was the Warriors second win against the Eagles (9-10, 5-8 YAIAA Division II) this season, having beaten them 60-48 on Dec. 22.
So what has changed for Gettysburg over the past two weeks?
"I think we're valuing the ball a little better," Bair said. "I think we're focused a little more defensively for longer periods of time. I wouldn't say we played 32 minutes of defense, but I would say we're playing better defense when it matters with the game on the line."
The Warriors certainly played well defensively in the fourth quarter Wednesday, holding the Eagles to 11 points and finishing the game on a 9-3 run. After leading by five points at halftime, the Warriors outscored the Eagles by nine in the second half.
But things got tight for Gettysburg midway through the third quarter, when a 10-3 Dover run cut the Warriors lead to just one. At that moment, Gettysburg senior guard Marquise Camel exploded for a steal and layup that energized the Warriors and started them on a 11-5 run to close the quarter.
Both Camel and junior Ravaughn Dillard were the catalysts for Gettysburg in the second half, as the pair combined for 25 points after halftime. Dillard finished the game with 21 points, while Camel added 15.
"We sometimes make the game much more difficult than it has to be," Bair said. "For us it was about taking care of the ball and keeping it simple. All in all, we played well and have to keep the focus a couple more days."
Like most teams in the YAIAA, the Warriors' schedule this weekend is heavy thanks to cancellations from this past weekend's snow storm. Gettysburg will play three more times in the next five days on Friday, Saturday and Monday.
For a team that's still fighting to make the YAIAA playoffs, every game means a lot. Gettysburg is extra aware of that having already lost three times this month. And with their game on Friday against division-leading Northeastern, a team that beat them on Jan.5, the Warriors can't afford to let their guard down.
"That's going to be a tough game on Friday, but its winnable," Camel said. "We have the talent to do it. We came off a Christmas break slow, but we're getting our intensity back."
Although the Warriors three straight wins have come against teams in the bottom half of Division II, Bair still believes the games have been tough tests that have prepared his players for the end of the season.
"In this league every game is tough because every coach works hard and scouts," Bair said. "I think all the teams are capable of making (playoff) runs, it's just a matter of who's going to knock each other out."
Jerry O'Neal 4 3-6 11, Najah Fink 5 3-3 13, Keith Davis 3 2-2 10, Bowman 1 0-0 2, DeShong 2 2-2 6, Sayres 0 0-0 0, Mummert 1 0-0 2 Heath 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 10-13 44
Ravaughn Dillard 6 9-9 21, Marquise Camel 6 2-4 15, Max Lampe 5 0-1 12, Connor Weikert 3 3-4 10, Ringler 0 0-3 0, Sherman 0 0-0 0, Eckhart 0 0-0 0, Buxton 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 14-21 58
Dover _ 10 _ 8 _ 15 _ 11 _ — _ 44
Gettysburg _ 16 _ 7 _ 17 _ 18 _ — _ 58
3-point goals — Gettysburg 4 (Lampe 2, Camel, Weikert) Dover 2 (Davis).