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WHS girls get a win

The Whitehall Zephyrs girls basketball team posted its first win of the season with a 53-31 victory over William Allen last Friday night at Whitehall.

“Tonight was nice. It was a nice shot of confidence,” said Whitehall coach Will Robertson. “We could see that the things we are running are successful when we run it well and make the shots easier.”

The closest Allen came to Whitehall was late in the first quarter after Persea Rogers’ three pointer and Melody Robinson’s three point play on a layup and shooting foul. Then, with 1:45 left on the clock, Whitehall senior Ella Laky’s three point shot prevented a Canary lead.

“I was pretty happy because I saw that they were close and it put us up and gave us confidence and kept control of the game,” Laky said. “They’re very physical, and we’ve had other teams that were physical, but this time we were able to play with their strength and not let it bother us. We knew what we wanted to do today. We were focused beforehand and knew all of our plays. It was really good.”

The Zephyrs scored most of their second quarter points on foul shots and led 24-14 at halftime.

“We were worried that we were gonna come back and they were gonna press us again, but most importantly, we said do exactly what you did in the first half,” said Coach Robertson. “We talked about time management. If they’re in the zone, we don’t need to take the first shot after one pass on the floor. We’ll work it a couple times, let the clock be our friend, and look for a good shot.”

Whitehall senior Olivia Hines converted on a quick pass from Laky followed by Laky’s jumper, and Ciara Rogers chipped in nine points for the Zephyrs, all in the second half.

“It was a little rough down below because they would tug on our jerseys, but all you have to do is try your best to get around them,” said Hines. “You have to time your jumping too at the same time to catch the ball up in the air. You have to hold it high too, also with the guards trying to snatch it.”

Persea Rogers landed a three pointer at the third quarter buzzer for Allen, but by then, Whitehall had widened the gap, leading 38-25.

“I put MJ (Morgan Dunbar) on [Persea Rogers],” said Robertson. “Morgan is quick on defense. Coming out of a dead sprint, [Rogers] can pull up and take a jump shot, and she can drive.”

Whitehall guard Bella Fonzone dribbled right into the open lane for two more Zephyr points to open the fourth quarter. Dunbar intercepted a Canary pass, and Ciara Rogers had the putback.

“Our passing got better and we shared the ball a lot and looked for the open player which helped us instead of driving with multiple girls on you,” said Hines. “We made shots and we finished.”

The Zephyrs picked up even more steam toward game’s end with a three by Dunbar and a bucket by Ciara Rogers that came off a pass from Laky to Dunbar to Rogers.

“As the season goes along, that’s what you want to see,” said Coach Robertson. “A lot of the girls play other sports, so we come into the preseason and we’re just getting our basketball legs back, our basketball IQ back. We played with a lot more control tonight, and when that happened and got a little bit of a lead, that gave us the confidence I was looking for them to get. You celebrate the moment and then have to get ready to go the next day.”

Press photo by Ron Gower Ella Laky and the WHS girls recently picked up their first victory.