Girls Varsity Basketball Get Big Win in Home Game Against Gettysburg

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Girls Varsity Basketball Get Big Win in Home Game Against Gettysburg

Michael Zabkowski, Sports Editor

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In a big game, the Varsity Girls basketball team played a home game against the Gettysburg Warriors on January 11. Coming into this game, the Rams had only lost one game and were looking to continue their terrific start to the season. The Rams were able to gain some separation in a close game down the stretch and won by 11, the score was 52-41.

Looking back at the game, head coach Aaron Eaton said, “We talked about making Gettysburg earn everything they got. We didn’t want to give them any easy baskets. We also talked about making sure we got a great shot every possession when we were on offense.”

The Rams’ starters were: senior guard Megan Halzcuk, senior guard Megan Thomas, junior forward Chandler Swanson, junior forward Lexie Kopko, and junior forward Jaedyn McKeon.

To start the game, Gettysburg won the tip-off and scored on their first possession to get the early lead 2-0. However, McKeon scored to tie the game at 2-2.

The early possessions set the tone for the game, and it was then that you could tell that the game would be close.

After a few empty possessions, Gettysburg scored, but Swanson answered with a 3-pointer to give the Rams the 5-4 lead leaving five minutes in the first quarter.

On the next Gettysburg possession, the Rams’ defense was able to keep them off the scoreboard. However, what some thought was a questionable foul call gave the ball back to the Warriors, but they did not score on their second chance.

In the next two minutes of play, the Rams got out to a 5-0 scoring run and got out to a nice 10-4 lead with about three minutes left in the first quarter.

Both teams scored again in the remaining minutes of the first quarter, but the Rams held an 11-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“Both teams were competing extremely hard knowing what the stakes of the game were: taking first place in the division,” Halzcuk said.

The second quarter began with a Rams’ offensive turnover, but the Warriors did not execute on their forced turnover.

Furthermore, Gettysburg was the first team to score in the second quarter with a free throw about two minutes into the second quarter. At that point, the Rams still lead 11-9.

With about three and a half minutes left in the second quarter, neither team made a field goal. However, Gettysburg was still making their free throws and tied the game at 11-11 at that point in the game.

About a minute later, the Warriors made another free throw and took the lead 12-11. Then, Gettysburg made a 3-pointer to break the dry spell that both teams endured, extending their lead to 15-11.

The Rams scored four more points and gave up five in the remaining minutes of the second quarter, trailing 20-15 at halftime.

“During halftime, we talked about a couple of defensive adjustments we were going to make as well as playing the second half one possession at a time,” Eaton said.

Halzuck also commented on the need to stop the Gettysburg point guard.

To start the third quarter, the Rams’ defense kept Gettysburg off of the scoreboard on their first possession. Then, Swanson hit a 3-pointer to get a 7-0 scoring run started for the Rams.

Eaton said, “We were fortunate to have a great start to the third quarter where we were able to erase the five point deficit quickly.”

Gettysburg ended the Rams scoring run and then scored on three of their next four possessions to take the lead 25-22.

With the score at 26-23, Halzcuk made a big 3-point shot to tie the game at 26-26 with about two and a half minutes left in the third quarter. Neither team scored in the remaining minutes of the quarter.

Thereafter, Kopko scored the first four points of the fourth quarter for the Rams, and they got out to a 30-26 lead early in the last quarter of the game.

A few minutes later, with a 1 and 1 chance for Gettysburg at the foul line, they made both get the game back to within two points, 30-28 the Rams led with about five minutes left in the game.

On the next Rams possession, McKeon made a layup, plus the and-1 free throw, which extended the Rams lead to 33-28.

Then, with about four and a half minutes left in the game, on a slightly questionable foul call, Gettysburg went to the free throw line, but only made one. On the questionable foul calls against the Rams, the crowd was not afraid to let the referees hear it.

“Referees, of course, control and affect the game. Even though they make questionable calls in our point of view, we have to remember to play our game and not worry about the refs even though that can be very challenging,” Halzcuk said.

However, on the other end, Halzcuk made a big bucket to take the Rams’ lead to 35-29. Then, a couple minutes later, Thomas worked through a foul to make a layup. 

She ended up making the and-1 to strengthen the Rams lead to 38-29 with about three and a half minutes to go in the game.

After the Warriors called a timeout to talk things over, they came out and executed on their next possession and cut the Rams lead to 38-31.

Both teams scored again multiple times, but it was the Rams’ made free throws in the last two and a half minutes of the game that gave the Rams the 52-41 win over Gettysburg.

McKeon and Kopko were the Rams’ leading scorers, McKeon with 15 and Kopko with 14.

While the Rams executed on offense, it seemed like the Rams really did make Gettysburg earn each of their shots, just like Eaton said.

The 52-41 win over Gettysburg improved the Rams record to 14-1 on the year.