By Zach Smart
This was after the Gettysburg girls basketball team had just stamped a loud statement victory on perennially potent Delone Catholic, before a packed gym and festive home crowd at Gettysburg High during the beginning of the season.
“Coach (Casey Thurston) basically told us that if we were going to win, everyone has to have one of their best games,” explained Brianna Thomas, who applied intense in-your-jersey defense on Sierra Moore to stymie Delone’s offense in the first half.
Gettysburg finds itself in an eerily identical challenge this week. The lady Warriors are slated for a date with deep and balanced West York team which has staged a head-turning run to the District 3-AAA semifinals.
During its 70-64 win over Delone Catholic in the YAIAA, West York scorched the nets to the tune of a 24-for-41 clip.
Their defensive strategy against Delone was similar to that employed by the 2001 NBA champion L.A. Lakers against the Philadelphia 76ers. Let the featured scorer (Moore/Allen Iverson) drop their daily 30+, but keep everyone else from getting hot. This worked to West York’s advantage. Fluid ball movement was an immense factor in that victory, as West York piled up 18 assists.
They located each other in transition, on cuts, and kicked it out to their shooters on the wings.
If West York plays possessed again, Gettysburg must have that type of performance they did against Delone. Expect Thomas, the Rhode Island bound guard and lock down specialist, to match up with Sarah Shearer.
Expect Gettysburg’s supporting casts to surface in the late moments.
That means crafty guard Ellen Bair, sharpshooter Camden Boehner and Destinee Reid—who has evolved into more of a playmaker this season—should step up during crucial transitions.
Expect a dizzying, back-and-forth affair that won’t be decided until the final minutes.