Lady Pirates dismantle Tigers with immense pressure

Garaway's defense ruled the roost in a 74-14 win over Strasburg

Coming off of a pair of extremely tight battles, the Garaway Lady Pirates wanted to make sure they didn’t get into that same boat again when they traveled to Strasburg to face the Lady Tigers Wednesday, Nov. 29.


Displaying a ferocious full-court defense and a smothering half-court defense, Garaway created a ton of turnovers and delivered a blowout 74-14 win that allowed head coach Dave Shutt and his crew to finally breath easy for a change.


“Coming off a tough defeat to Dover, we wanted to come out, pin our ears back and be aggressive from the opening top to the final buzzer, whether it was full court or half court,” said Garaway coach Dave Shutt.


Garaway did that to a tee, and imposed its will on Strasburg.


Strasburg knew coming in that it would have its work cut out for it in playing one of the upper echelon Inter-Valley Conference schools.


“We saw them play Dover on Monday, so we had a pretty good idea as to what kind of a challenge we were going to face,” said Strasburg head coach Patrick Mitchell, whose young team is nearly half freshman. “We have not faced anything anywhere near that from a pressure standpoint, and we can’t come close to emulating that kind of pressure in practice. We didn’t handle it very well.”


Strasburg came out of the gate strong this season, collecting a pair of wins against Our Lady of the Elms and Conotton Valley, but those teams were nothing compared to what the Lady Pirates brought to the floor.


After Zoey Thomas gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead to start the game, Garaway reeled off the first quarter’s final 19 points to put this one in doubt. Garaway did its damage in all kinds of ways, with seven different players scoring in that stretch, with buckets ranging from Kaitlyn Stress’ 3-ponter to three steals from Sydney Mullet and Zoe Johnson’s driving lay-up that finished the quarter.





“I thought we did some really nice things offensively,” Shutt said. “We handled the ball well, moved it and found some cutters that led to some easy buckets.”


Garaway also created a lot of easy lay-ups off of steals created from their intense pressure.


“We were balanced and unselfish, and our defense kind of led to a lot of easy looks that created a lot of big runs for us tonight,” Shutt said.


Strasburg’s Alyssa Simms quickly found success inside, getting to the hole twice and connecting on all four free throws to trim the Garaway lead to 19-6, but then came another big run for Garaway, this one 11-0 that pushed the lead to 30-6. Johnson and Haley Shutt were instrumental in that run, and when Stress hit a runner in the lane, Madeline Smith scored off as teal and Shutt split a pair of free throws, Garaway boasted a 39-10 halftime bulge.




Another huge streak of 14 points to open the second half started with a Mullet trey, and she ended the run by getting a steal and finding Kallie Regula for an easy score.


Leading 59-14 after three, Garaway’s defense buckled down in the fourth and did not allow a single Tigers point, while Lady Pirate Ashton Gerber scored five points in the quarter to add to the Garaway total.


As a team that is vertically challenged, Shutt said they know that defensive pressure and great half-court defense is going to be a big part of this team’s success this year.


“It’s a process, but that pressure is going to be our MO,” Shutt said. “We have found some things that we really like, and we just have continue to work at the process and learn what our strengths are as we go along.”


On the night, Garaway was paced by Shutt’s 15, while Johnson added 13, Mullet knocked down nine, Regula scored eight and both Stress and Steiner contributed seven. Sims led Strasburg with eight points, showing tremendous touch from the free throw line, where she went 6-of-6.


Mitchell, in his first year of varsity coaching, said his young team will learn from the game, and the goal is to continue to develop talent and get back to the point where they are competitive night in and night out.


“We are very young, and we will have some growing pains like tonight,” Mitchell said. “But our girls have worked hard and want to be the group that gets us back to winning. They have bought into what we want to accomplish, so the culture is starting to shift, but we are not there yet. We have so many things we need to work on, and we are going to take our bumps, but we will get there.”

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