The Elizabethtown Lady Bears varsity basketball team convincingly beat the McCaskey girls team Friday, Jan. 19, by a score of 52 to 29. After the game, head coach John Myers said he was “really pleased with how the girls came out in the second half. The kids were focused. They executed well. All of our players work hard.”
This is Myers’ fifth year coaching at Elizabethtown. Going into this game, the girls had a league record of six wins and two loses. Before the game, Coach Myers thought that the team’s biggest challenge was possibly being rusty.
“We have not played in a week. The girls are getting back into the flow of things,” Myers said.
Merena Lonardi, a junior, said after the game, “We’re playing amazing as a team. The defense is fantastic. We play every game like it’s our last. After not playing for a week, this win put us back on track.”
The Elizabethtown team was led by seniors Amber Orban, Sam Stackhouse, and Autumn Royer. Lonardi and four other juniors, in addition to nine players who were underclassmen, rounded out the roster. Coach Myers said of this year’s team, “We do have depth.”
Assistant coach Todd Brubaker said, “We have a young team, with only three seniors on varsity and lots of freshmen.”
“The kids practice really hard. They enjoy playing. We have lots of players with lots of experience, girls who have been playing for a long time,” said Myers, speaking to the reasons for the team’s success this season.
The game was a close contest the whole first period. Ball possession switched from team to team quickly. Both teams were rebounding well. At the beginning of the second period, the Lady Bears led the McCaskey Tornado 11-7. Elizabethtown took charge of the pace of the game during the second period. The Lady Bears slowed down play by creating lots of court space with opening up passing. With 5:40 left in the period, Lonardi made several key plays, and the Bears led 17-9. At the halftime buzzer, Elizabethtown was winning 20-15.
During time-outs called in the game, the players listened intently to instructions given by their head coach. Myers said he “keeps it brief. What’s going on on the floor. One or two things to improve. [Then I] send them back out.”
In the third period, Elizabethtown commanded the scoring and showed the power of their defense. Senior Royer sank a field goal from almost half court, in the fourth period, boosting the Elizabethtown lead to 39-19. The other three-pointers for the Bears came in the first and fourth periods. They were shot by Lonardi. The Bears kept the pressure on McCaskey, with both offense and defense, until the final buzzer to finish the game with a decisive victory.
The Elizabethtown girls won again in a 50-22 victory in road game at Warwick on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Lonardi had 15 points; Royer had 9 and Sydney Pierson had 8 to lead the Bears.