Greencastle-Antrim girls sew up Colonial crown
The Greencastle-Antrim girls basketball team clinched its fourth straight Mid Penn Colonial Division title Tuesday night with a 47-35 victory over the Shippensburg Lady Hounds.
The victory for the Blue Devils (16-3) boosted their Colonial Division record to 11-0 and out of reach of the second-place Waynesboro team.
"At the beginning of the year, I don't know that we would have said we'd be 11-0. I really thought the division was getting better and it has gotten better," Greencastle coach Mike Rhine said. "We had a couple there the first time around on the road that were tough and this was another tough one tonight that we got."
When these teams met earlier in the year, the Blue Devils started off strong and quickly fabricated a double-digit lead that they did not lose. However, the Hounds came out of the gate more focused Tuesday and kept the score close early, trailing by only one after the first quarter.
"That was the focal point of the night. To try to play every possession hard in the first half and focus on trying to guard one person and stop one person," Shippensburg coach Andrew Markel said.
It isn't easy to stop the person in front of you when the player is Jenay Faulkner, who had a strong night for the Blue Devils. Faulkner scored over half of GA's points, racking up 24 while hitting four 3-pointers. The Lady Hounds double-teamed her constantly through the first quarter, but once the Blue Devils began to move the ball around, Faulkner began to find open shots to build the lead.
"Since they double-team me, we draw two people to me and I try to get off a pass to a wide-open player," Faulkner said, "And once they figure that out they start letting up on me and I can score."
Shippensburg managed to slow her down in the first quarter, but she scored 10 points in the third quarter, including two deep threes to crush Ship's momentum.
"The execution is what is so tough against a player that can step out 27 feet away from the basket and confidently knock it down," Markel said, "We practiced how to guard when they set screens up front, but we were just too slow to react to the screens and she gets wide open and nails them. And that's frustrating."
With three games left in the regular season, the Blue Devils look to focus on the games in front of them and not look ahead to the playoffs.
"It's whatever is in front of you next," Rhine said, "And it is hard, though, I'll admit, not that we're better than anybody else. Last year was harder because we had three seniors that were just ready to get into the mix, but this year we only have two that really understand it. The younger kids don't really have a grasp yet of what's going to happen in the next couple of weeks."