TOWNSHIP OF EGG HARBOR – The 2021 highschool basketball season has lasted about so long as a mean summer time romance, and Egg Harbor Township women coach Adam Swift needs there have been nonetheless a number of weeks of sunsets left. earlier than having to hold up the whistle till November. His workforce are having their greatest stride of the season, having gained three straight, 5 of 6 wins, however there is just one extra recreation on the schedule for the hovering Eagles.
Within the ultimate house recreation of her stellar profession, senior guard Lauren Baxter led the best way on Wednesday afternoon, scoring a team-high 15 factors to accompany 4 assists, 4 rebounds and three steals as EHT handed Hammonton , 53-35. The Eagles additionally bought enormous video games from Zinckgraf sisters Amelia (a sophomore, 10 factors, 12 rebounds, two steals) and Kierstyn (a junior, 4 factors, 5 rebounds) to enhance to 8-5. general and 7-5 within the Northern Cape-Atlantic League.
EHT took a 24-10 lead within the first half, which was greater than sufficient to resist appreciable effort from Hammonton’s 5-foot-11 ahead Emma Peretti, who scored a peak 22 factors whereas including 16 rebounds. . On his 22 factors, 16 video games within the second half, together with 10 within the third quarter.
“We actually needed to exit and put strain on their guards,” Swift mentioned. “Peretti is fairly skillful across the basket so we needed to place strain on their guards, and that is precisely what we did. We got here out aggressively, they returned the ball and we had been in a position to flip them into alternatives.
“I believe we’re beginning to acquire confidence as a workforce and play extra as a workforce. I believe that in consequence, we are going to earn the respect we deserve, ”mentioned Kierstyn Zinckgraf. “It feels good to lastly get the victories we needed. Our most important focus was Peretti – we had been making an attempt to silence her. I needed to drop her and play her, and we knew if we may shut her up, that might be our recreation.
EHT began sluggish and solely led 6-4 on the finish of the primary quarter, however a giant 3-point pointer from Mikki Pomatto adopted by a transformed steal from Amelia Zinckgraf gave the Eagles an 11-point lead. -4. Baxter then hit a 3 and fed Amelia Zinckgraf a steal because the lead elevated to 16-4. Olivia Cutaia added a jumper within the paint to cap a 12-0 run, and EHT beat the Blue Devils 18-6 after taking that 6-4 lead. Baxter scored simply three factors within the first half however got here to life within the second, scoring eight factors within the third quarter to assist finish any comeback that Hammonton (6-6, 5-6 CAL West ) may have had.
“She helps us as a result of she is aware of the place to feed the ball, and he or she’s a workforce participant,” Kierstyn Zinckgraf mentioned of Baxter. “She offers us the ball at any time when she is aware of we are able to deal with it, and he or she herself has the arrogance to shoot when she will be able to.”
“We needed to win for the seniors as a result of it is their final house recreation,” added Amelia Zinckgraf. “We had been on a profitable streak so we needed to maintain going. We labored onerous for it so it felt good to get the win.
The large distinction within the recreation was EHT’s defensive depth, with the Eagles racking up 14 interceptions, together with seven from Pomatto.
“I believe crucial factor was their buy-in from the defensive finish. They accepted that typically you were not going to shoot effectively and typically in the event you do not run and get somewhat sloppy with the ball, in the event you simply play protection you might be in each recreation, ”Swift mentioned. . “It is one thing they’ve completed and acquired into, and it is superior as a gaggle as a result of it is easy once you’re struggling to place your head down offensively. However general they’re coming again they usually’re going after protection, and that is what has allowed us to win as many video games as we’ve got this yr.
The Eagles will likely be seeking to finish their season with a street win at Ocean Metropolis on Saturday, however even when they do not win, simply having the prospect to play this season has been a win.
“This season has gone so quick, it would not even really feel actual,” mentioned Amelia Zinckgraf. “However I really feel like we had season. We had been fortunate and had no stops. We walked in, made certain we had been protected and we did not take something without any consideration as a result of we knew the season could possibly be interrupted at any time.
Kierstyn Zinckgraf is very grateful, as she misplaced her second lacrosse season final spring because of the pandemic.
“Final yr, I used to be one of many athletes who misplaced their spring season, in lacrosse, so it is very nice to know that we had been in a position to undergo this entire season with out being stopped,” he mentioned. she declared. “I used to be trying ahead to this season, and it occurred in a short time, as Amelia mentioned. Nevertheless it felt good to play as a workforce and do a complete season.
“I actually noticed our progress. The ladies are beginning to carry out increasingly offensively, and defensively we’ve got been getting higher and higher all year long. Final time I checked we had been preserving the groups at a mean of 32 factors per recreation so the women are doing our defensive stuff rather well and simply enjoying higher as a gaggle, ”added Swift. “It takes time in the course of the season to come back collectively. We actually began to show the nook so it could have been nice if (this season) may proceed additional. We have now a recreation in opposition to Ocean Metropolis on Saturday and it is an excellent check. I mentioned to the women, “this is a chance to show your talent stage” as a result of everyone knows Ocean Metropolis has a repute for being probably the greatest applications within the space. So we’re positively searching for it to be the spotlight of our season.
And after: EHT is heading to Ocean Metropolis on Saturday, time to be decided. Hammonton welcomes OLMA on Friday at 4 p.m.
Contact Dave O’Sullivan: [email protected]; on Twitter @GDsullysays