Behind the Lens: G-A girls have a winning culture
There are a lot of myths about seeing the world through a camera lens.
They say a camera adds 10 pounds - false. They also say what you see behind the lens is two-dimensional, but if I've learned anything from my weekend taking video at the Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament, it's that the camera showed the Greencastle-Antrim girls basketball team for exactly what it is - a team that may not be picture-perfect, but one that still has the innate desire to win.
For the last four years Greencastle has claimed the tournament championship, but this year the Blue Devils did not have an easy road to the title. Chambersburg nearly completed a comeback in the first round, forcing Greencastle to play on its toes to come out with a five-point victory. Waynesboro put up a run of its own in the championship game, coming within seven points of Greencastle.
But I've seen this team come back from the near-impossible (15-point deficit to win 43-42 vs. Scranton Prep in PIAA second round), and despite being without two main players from last year's squad - one thing remains the same - Jenay Faulkner.
Labeled the best Franklin County girls player since she was a sophomore, Faulkner has instilled a winning culture in the team by sheer force of nature. She does it all. She's the team's top scorer and top defender - and based on what I saw through the Franklin County Tip-Off, she will have to be the team's be-all and end-all in some situations this season.
Along with Faulkner, another familiar name will be on the list of starters this season - Crist. No, not the 1,000-point scorer Hannah, her sister Lydia, who had a fair amount of varsity time last year, and has big shoes to fill for her sister. In addition to Crist, Morgan Wagaman, a returning starter, and Madison 'Sonny' Sweitzer, who first caught my eye last season as a freshman, make up a starting lineup riddled with potential.
Coach Mike Rhine said the team isn't "head and shoulders better than anyone," like in years past. The team will need to utilize its fundamentals, it's not-so-secret weapon in Faulkner, and a smidgen of that "never-say-die" attitude.
"In the past we've had Jane Herman, Katie Gelsinger, Chloe Hoover, Hannah Crist and they were just winners, along with Jenay," Rhine said. "This year some of the (winning attitude) is attributed to Jenay. Those kids don't want to lose because they know how upset she would be if that actually happened. Maybe it's a fighting spirit, or our streaky shooting, maybe a combination of the two."
Saturday in the championship game, Greencastle shot a mere 14-for-46 (30%), displaying what Rhine called their streaky shooting. But that has been the Blue Devils' philosophy all along.
"Because we shoot so many threes, the mathematics of what you get per shot, it makes it worth it," Rhine said. "Some people will disagree with me, but it's been my philosophy all along, I'll take 10 missed 3-pointers over a turnover any day of the week. You can't get any points if you throw the ball away. If you have something, go ahead and rip it, and we will live with the consequences. And with that we often times do out-shoot other teams.
"We said in the locker room, always expect adversity. There's always going to be ups and downs, and if it's easy - we don't want it."
That philosophy has led the Blue Devils to a District 3 championship, two Colonial Division titles, and a pair of lengthy runs in the PIAA tournament. And I'm willing to bet that a team that used to winning won't go down without a fight. I saw it for myself this weekend, all behind the lens.