When playing bigger schools and better competition, Shekinah Christian girls basketball coach Terry Rohrer hopes his girls can take something positive from the experience.
Visiting Washington Court House provided the host Flames (5-3) a chance to work on continuing to play the game hard despite being thoroughly outplayed. The Blue Lions played with passion, poise and patience and cruised to an easier-than-expected 60-34 victory Friday, Jan. 3.
“That’s a great team for us to play because we knew they would bring pressure from everywhere,” Rohrer said. “It is great every time we get a chance to play against competition like this, to see a defense like this will help us down the road.”
The Blue Lions apparently were ready from the moment they stepped off their bus. The visitors jumped on Shekinah with its suffocating half-court man-to-man defense. The Flames struggled in the opening minutes of the contest just to get a clean look at the basket or execute a simple cross-court pass.
Washington Court House jumped out to a 12-2 advantage and never looked back. By the time Shekinah had adjusted to the pressure defense, the first quarter had ended and the home team was looking at a 16-4 deficit.
“I thought the number of turnovers we had, came from the way they denied the pass,” Rohrer said. “Early on, they really got us out of rhythm. I thought we made some adjustments as the game went along and actually played them even in the second quarter, but then we got to the third quarter.”
Washington held a 26-14 halftime advantage and really caught stride right after the halftime break. With the Flames in a 2-3 zone, the Blue Lions moved the ball in and around the zone and got open looks which they promptly knocked down. Court House outscored Shekinah 19-6 in the third quarter.
“In that third quarter they really ran their offense and started to knock down those outside shots and ran away from us,” the Flames coach said. “We’ve been through a decent amount of adversity and these girls don’t get too down and they come right back. In the third quarter we didn’t correct our mistakes soon enough and (the Blue Lions) took advantage of that, if anything maybe we should have gotten out of the zone sooner.”
Shekinah was led offensively by Ashley Gingerich, who finished with a game-high 16 points. Janelle Roby added eight in the loss.
Washington got an all-around balanced scoring effort as a total of 10 players scored in the game. led by the 10 posted by Emma Anderson. Carleigh Chaffins finished with nine and Chelsea Warning chipped in eight.
The young Flames are still fighting for consistency, playing and competing against a solid Court House team that didn’t take it easy on them will surely help their development.
“We had four starters leave last year and we now start three sophomores and two seniors,” Rohrer said. “I’d like to see us get the confidence as a young team to know that we can play and compete against good teams like this. We’ve played some good teams, but to be confident playing these type of teams we need to have experience and we’re working on that.”
Shekinah will look to bounce back when it hosts Tree of Life Saturday, Jan. 4, tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.