· Basketball - Holmes County ·

A clash of movie genres goes Lady P’s way in 37-16 win over Lady Knights

Lady Pirates crawl all over Lady Knights in low-scoring, defensive win

If the Monday, Jan. 7 girls high school basketball game between host West Holmes and visiting Garaway took on movie titles to describe what took place, the two teams would have very different titles. For Garaway perhaps the movie “Dreamgirls” would be appropriate. For West Holmes it was more of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” vibe.

The Lady Pirates came roaring out of the gate, led by top scorer Kallie Regula, built a 14-0 lead and never looked back in taking down the Lady Knights 37-16.

Coming in, the game was shaping up to be a tight battle between two undersized teams looking for a solid win. However, the first eight minutes played out in all the wrong ways for the Lady Knights, and it was all good for the Lady P’s.

Regula drove the paint and scored on an and-one and then dropped in a long 3-pointer on the next trip down the floor. Moments later Zoe Johnson canned a triple to put Garaway ahead 9-0, and West Holmes was in trouble. The Lady Knights’ struggles weren’t necessarily with the Garaway offense, but rather its half-court trapping defense that confounded West Holmes into numerous early turnovers and very few shots.

Defensively Garaway head coach Dave Shutt said he couldn’t have asked for more from his team.

“That was the best we’ve done all year,” Shutt said of his defense. “We communicated, we covered passing lanes well and did it all, and that set the tone early. We have seen this team several times and knew they were dangerous, and to hold a team like this to four points in the first half was incredible.”

By the time Garaway’s Chloe Hershberger scored on a put-back and Chelsi Rothacher grabbed a rebound and completed an and-one, the quarter ended with West Holmes still seeking its first points down 14-0.

Things got even worse before they got better for West Holmes as the nightmare continued. Johnson made a steal and went coast to coast for a score, and Hershberger grabbed another offensive board and stuck it back for an 18-0 lead. It wouldn’t be until the 5:16 mark in the second period that the Lady Knights would finally break through on a Katrina Rolince free throw. Regula connected on a mid-range jumper, and after West Holmes’ Taylor Miller split two free throws, the Lady Knights got a stop. With 2:37 to play in the half, they scored their first bucket on Paige Race’s long jumper to make it 20-4.

However, Regula connected on a trey, and with three seconds left, the Lady Pirates moved the ball on an inbound play on the left sideline to a wide-open Lizzie Mullet in the right corner. Mullet’s nothing-but-net three-ball gave Garaway a 26-4 lead as a stunned home crowd sat in disbelief at the nightmare that was taking place.

The third period saw scoring come to a grinding halt on both ends of the floor with each team netting four points, the Lady Knights getting scores from Katie Sprang and Charolette Brown and the Lady P’s getting contributions from Ashton Gerber and Hershberger.

For Garaway it was a thing of beauty.

“I told the kids that we only had four points, and we were winning the quarter,” Shutt said to his team during a time-out late in the period. “We didn’t feel like we had to score, and we were content to take time off the clock.”

Trailing 30-8, West Holmes seemed to go through a reawakening in the fourth quarter, coming out with a lot of energy it hadn’t exhibited through the first three quarters. West Holmes began to pressure Garaway defensively, and on offense it began to attack. Race started to find her way to the bucket with penetration, and it looked like a completely different West Holmes team.

Lady Knights senior Regan Wilcox dropped in a runner in the lane, but Regula answered with an and-one. Race canned a triple, but Rothacher scored on a lay-up as Garaway beat West Holmes’ press. While West Holmes’ attitude and effort changed, it was far too late to create any type of massive comeback, and the Lady Pirates left The Dungeon with a well-deserved, big win.

“We played really well tonight,” Shutt said of his team. “It was a great team effort. There are still places to improve, but I loved our effort. We had a ton of deflections and steals that put us in good situations offensively. I told the girls we can hang our hats on this effort, and we did it with defense.”

On the evening Garaway limited the Lady Knights to just 10 shots inside the paint and 12 3-point attempts. Normally a good free-throw-shooting team, West Holmes even struggled from the charity stripe, where they were an ugly 5-of-14.

For West Holmes head coach Lindsy Snyder, the effort in the fourth quarter was nice to see, but she wondered where it was for the other three quarters.

“We have to bring that energy consistently,” Snyder said, “from practice to games, to the first quarter to the second, to the third and fourth. That is a mentality, and we don’t do that consistently. Hopefully we understand that.”

While it might seem to some that West Holmes would simply want to bury this game film and forget it ever happened, Snyder said that is far from the truth. She said these are the games that her team needs to relive and learn from. As hard as it may be to relive the experience, only then will her team understand the kind of fourth-quarter effort they gave is necessary throughout.

“We’ve made steps forward, but we have a long way to go,” Snyder said.

Race led West Holmes with eight points while nobody else scored more than two. Regula led the way for Garaway with 14, Rothacher added seven along with some big rebounds, Hershberger tallied six and also came up big on the glass, and Johnson scored five.

With the win Garaway moves to 7-5 while West Holmes dips to 7-4 on the season.

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