Good Morning! With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.
Today I will be heading to one of my favorite tradtions of the holiday season, the Granville American Legion Christmas Tournament. This years's tournament will feature Hadley-Luzerne, Cambridge, Burr and Buront Academy and of course the host Golden Horde.
I have been part of this tournament in every way possible. I have played in it, called the radio play by play, written about it and even coached in it. Tonight I will be on the call of the Granville game on the NFHS Network and Facebook live.
Due to taking Covid precautions the format will be a little different this year. This afternoon the Hadley-Luzerne junior varsity and varsity teams will meet Burr and Burton. The JV game will begin at 1 p.m. The varsity game at 2:30 p.m. Later in the day the Granville and Cambridge teams will square off at 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
There will be no finals and consolation game. The teams will just siwtch tomorrow. Hadley-Luzerne will play Cambridge and Granville will meet Burr and Burton. The start times will be the same as today's games.
I am glad to see the Granville American Legion and Granville school administration have worked to bring this event back after a one year hiaus.
Whitehall Girls Roll Over Crown Point
Defense is typically mentioned as the strength of the Whitehall girls basketball team. Although the Railroaders were solid on that end of the court again, their offense also executed to near perfection. Whitehall bounced back from their first loss of the season by rolling past Crown Point 68-11 in a non-league contest on their home court.
10 players put their names in the box score for the Railroaders, with six of them hitting for five or more.
"We got a lot of easy transition layups to get us out, Whitehall coach Boyd Hunt said. "We actually ran our stuff really well today. We got a lot of layups off our stuff."
The Railroaders came out quick, reelng off the first 17 points of the game before the Panthers got on the board. Whitehall led 17-2 after a quarter.
The shooting went cold to begin the second quarter, but Crown Point couldn't take advantage. A 3-pointer from the baseloine by Jayden Hughes was the first Whitehall bucket of the period with 4:11 to play, but Crown Point had also not scored during the span. The Railroaders led 32-5 at the half.
Whitehall outscored the Panthers 36-6 in the second half, and only allowed them four field goals the entire evening.
"One good thing is we're learning how to win. Without Zo (Zoe Eggleston) and Ky (Kyrie Smith) we're learnng how to win and learning how to put some points on the board and where it's going to come from."
Samantha Howland led Whitehall with 18 points. Madison Gould added 16. Ashylyn Groesbeck chipped in eight. Hughes and Blake Bird had six each.
Gabrielle Mazotte had five points for the Panthers.
Whitehall is 5-1. Crown Point is 1-6.
Crown Point Rallies Past Whitehall Boys
Early in the third quarter it looked as though the Whitehall boys basketball team was on their way to a win over Crown Point. A few lapses on defense by the Railroaders and 3-point shooting by the Panthers rallied Crown Point to a 61-54 non-league victory.
After leading 24-20 at halftime the Railroaders fashioned an 11 point lead in the third quarter. Whitehall pounded the ball into the paint to Brandon Bakerian who scored six points in a row to help the Railroaders widen the distance between the two teams.
A basket by Trevor Harris and seven consecutive points by Noah Spaulding pulled the Panthers within 40-39, before Bakerian responded to make it 42-39 Whitehall heading to the fourth.
In the final stanza Crown Point's quick point guard Anthony Greenan took over. After Harris tied the game with a deep trey, Greenan sliced through the Railroader defense for six straight points to give the Panthers a lead they would never relinquish. Crown Point went up by as much as 56-48 in the quarter.
"We had a two or three minute stretch where we lost on defensive intesity. That was the key to the game," Whitehall coach Keith Redmond stated.
Whitehall pulled within five on a few occasions but could not get any closer.
"I think we got a little lackadaisical with our help defense. Allowed them to go one on one without a second person coming over to help,"Redmond explained. "We had talked about that. Coming over and making someone else hit the shot besides 13 (Noah Spaulding). He popped a couple big threes."
The teams played toe to toe in the first quarter, finishing the period tied 12-12. Whitehall led by as much as seven at 24-17, but a pair of 3-pointers from Harris pulled the Panthers within 24-20 at the break.
Harris led Crown Point with 24 points. Spaulding added 16 and Greenan 14 for the Panthers.
Bakerian paced the Railroaders with 13 points. Burgey chipped in 12.
Crown Point is now 7-0. Whitehall is 2-3.
With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.