Gilmour girls basketball: Relentless Hoban defense stifles Lancers, 51-44

Gilmour girls basketball: Relentless Hoban defense stifles Lancers, 51-44

When facing the Hoban Knights of Hall of Fame coach Pam Davis, you can expect 32 minutes of bullying—in your face, physically demanding, withering bullying.

Playing in the Hoban Hoopfest Dec. 9, the visiting Gilmour Lancers got the full Hoban treatment and faltered as the game progressed, turning the ball over 20 times—11 in the second half—in a 51-44 loss. It was the first defeat in four outings for the Lancers, while Hoban moved to 5-0.

“When you play against them, you have to be able to handle their defense, and we just weren’t able to do it in some key moments,” said coach Kevin Byrne.

The most crucial of those moments came less than 2 minutes into the final quarter. Tia Shaw, who came off the Gilmour bench to score seven points, hit a 3-pointer from the left side off a feed from Nicci Finazzo, bringing the Lancers to within two points, 43-41, with 6:13 to play.

However, Gilmour went scoreless over the next three minutes while the Knights went on an 8-0 run on three fast-break layups and two free throws. The fast-break baskets were a direct result of turnovers by the Lancers.

“They played the way we expected them to, but our execution just wasn’t very good,” Byrne said. “That really hurt us in key points. In the second half we were right in the game, and they got a couple run outs and they were able to take it from two to ten. You have to give credit to their defense, because they were able to create those run outs.”

Gilmour led for most of the opening quarter, which ended with the Lancers on top, 18-15. When Helen Holley opened the second period with a 3-pointer, the lead was up to 21-15. However, Holley, who led the Lancers with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, had to go to the bench a minute later with her second foul, and with her off the court, Hoban went on a 10-0 run to go up, 25-21.

Holley came back into the game and Gilmour’s fortunes turned around immediately, as the Lancers ended the half on a 7-2 run, going to the locker room with a 28-27 lead when Maddie Minotas hit a layup as the buzzer sounded off a nice feed from Katie Puletti.

Holley opened the second half by banking-in a mid-range jumper, and Gilmour was up by three, 30-27. But Hoban went on another 10-0 run, and this time the Lancers couldn’t recover. After the Knights went up, 37-30, Gilmour twice cut the margin to two points, but that was as close as they would get for the remainder of the game.

“Obviously, we faced a lot of good athletes with some heavy pressure,” Byrne said. “They’re good at it. They do a nice job. We have to find some ways to alleviate the pressure. We had a hard time making entry passes into the wings, which made it difficult to get into our offense. We struggled to make shots. There were a few times where we took a shot, and if we made it we were right there, but we didn’t make it. They just didn’t go in.”

Hoban’s defense obviously wore down Gilmour, as evidenced by the fact that the Lancers scored just 16 points and had 11 turnovers in the second half. Perhaps most troubling to Byrne was the fact that there were times in the second half when the Lancers were getting outworked, especially when it came to rebounding the basketball.

When asked if he felt his team was outworked, Byrne said, “I’ll have to watch the tape. To give you a Kevin Stefanski answer, I don’t know. But, certainly, there were some times when they scored big baskets on, like, their third shot. We can’t let them get to a third shot. We work on rebounding every day, but we just didn’t keep them off the glass like we needed to.”

The Lancers have some time to recover from their first loss, but the schedule certainly doesn’t get any easier. Next up for Gilmour is a road game Dec. 20 against 5-0 Brush.

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