By Garth Shanklin
Goshen junior Paige Garr was unstoppable in the second half of the Lady Warriors’ win over Ross on Saturday, Nov. 25.
Garr scored 17 points after the halftime break, leading her team to a season-opening win at home against the Lady Rams.
Ross held an early 9-4 lead at the 6:08 mark of the first period. Goshen responded with a three-point play by Kara Williams and a three-point shot by Whitney Turner to re-take the lead. Ross answered with another three-pointer, only to see Goshen tie the game on a put-back by Kaitlin Pfau. A free-throw by Bre Vonderau gave the Lady Warriors a 13-12 lead after one quarter.
Goshen dominated the rest of the way. The Lady Warriors allowed just four points total in the second quarter while scoring 17 to take a commanding 30-16 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, Ross out-scored Goshen 9-6, but Garr was too much to handle, scoring eight straight points to end the third and begin the final period. She added five more points late in the fourth to cap off a dominating performance by the home team.
Garr’s 27 points led all scorers. Pfau added eight points, with Turner chipping in six. Williams added five. Vonderau and Cheyenne West each scored a pair of points for Goshen. Miranda Meyer hit one of her two free-throw attempts for one point.
Olivia Chaney scored 11 points to lead Ross. Kaitlyn Justice scored seven points, all in the first quarter. Korryne Justice finished with six points.
Goshen head coach Mark Short, coaching in his first game at the helm of the Lady Warriors after serving as the boys’ junior varsity coach last season, said the team was able to do what needed to be done to get the victory.
“The kids did what we needed to do,” Short said. “It was sort of a strange game, they stayed zone the entire game. I think he was working on some things. We did what we needed to do.”
Short said the Lady Rams were working on a different look to their zone defense, and while the Lady Warriors had some trouble at times finding the holes, the squad jumped out to a big enough lead to overcome that challenge.
“They extend their zone a little bit, where most people don’t,” Short said. “We were trying to find some gaps, but we got a lead big enough to where we didn’t have to rush anything because we were up by double figures most of the time and there was no need to come down and fling it up there, that can get you into serious trouble.”
Garr’s performance did not go unnoticed by her head coach. Short said he believes teams eventually will gameplan to remove her from the contest offensively, and other players are going to have to step up.
“She’s done that on occasion, and we know that,” Short said. “She shoots the ball so well. We imagine down the road here people will start putting more people on her and denying her the ball so there are a few things we have to work on but it’s a comfort for a coach to know that kid’s going to hit the big shot and keep the margin at a comfortable pace.”
With so many new faces on the floor this season, Short said there were a bit of nerves pregame, but things calmed down as the game got underway.
“They did a great job, but they’re newer players,” Short said. “They were nervous, they were nervous before we started. Heck, I was nervous. It’s going to take a while, but I always tell the kids I expect perfection in one thing: effort. I’m getting that, and the rest we can work on.”
Goshen returned to the court on Monday, Nov. 27 for a road contest at Williamsburg, where they fell to the Lady Wildcats 65-34. The team is back in action on Thursday, Nov. 30 against Western Brown.