Shorthanded girls team falls to Dieruff
Salisbury was at a disadvantage in its season opener against Dieruff even before tipoff. The Falcons opened the season without two starters due to injuries and health issues.
Still, the Falcons kept it competitive against a much larger school in East Penn Conference foe Dieruff.
Down a point at halftime, Dieruff took the lead in the third quarter and then separated itself by double figures in the fourth en route to its 42-32 victory on Friday night.
“Offense is going to be a work in progress because most of these girls are not basketball players,” head coach Dan Reichenbach said. “I was happy because defensively they did what I wanted them to do. I think this team going forward is going to be fine. We were missing two starters tonight.”
Junior forward Madison Bettuccio missed the game due to a shoulder injury, and her absence hurt the Falcons on the boards. Junior guard Olivia Hoeing, who is a two-year starter, was also unable to play.
“Olivia is a two-year starter,” Reichenbach said. “Madison has experience, and she is our best rebounder. We struggled a little bit on the boards tonight. That was one of the things I was upset about defensively. We struggled with rebounding and with getting to loose balls.”
Salisbury, despite a slow start and falling in a 9-0 hole, held its own. The Falcons quickly fought their way back with four points from freshman point guard Quinn Wittman, who finished with four points, four assists, seven rebounds and eight steals.
The Falcons then took their fist lead in the second quarter with a 10-1 run to close out the half. Wittman set up sophomore guard Melena Koutch in transition for a layup to cut Dieruff’s lead to 18-13. Sophomore Krystle Mohry and senior guard Erica Holben hit back-to-back three-pointers to close out the half as Salisbury took a 19-18 lead into the break.
But despite those two made from long range, Reichenbach saw shoot more three-pointers that he would like. And it cost the Falcons in the second half.
Dieruff scored the first 10 points on the third quarter and never looked back, and the Huskies were able to build a 30-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“I’m not happy with [the amount of three-pointers we took],” Reichenbach said. “That’s the old style of playing, and we want them to try and get to the basket. We talked about that. There were times where we moved the ball real well against that zone and got good looks. And then there were times we came down, threw one pass and jacked up a three-pointer. Those are habits that we are going to break.”
The Falcons shot 5–for-25 from three-point range. Dieruff built its lead to 39-26 in the fourth quarter before the Falcons hit a couple of shots late from three-point range.
Salisbury opened its Colonial League slate at Pen Arygyl on Tuesday. Results were not available at time of press.