COAL TOWNSHIP – Lydia Deptula scored all of her game-high 16 points in the second half and Shamokin Area overcame bad first-half shooting to take a 45-28 Heartland Athletic Conference Division II win over Central Columbia Friday in girls basketball.
The Indians (11-6 overall, 6-2 Division II) only shot 15 percent in the first half and actually trailed the Blue Jays (4-12, 2-6), 12-10, but Deptula scored 10 points in the third quarter and Shamokin shut out the Jays in the period, 17-0, to gain control.
“We talked about waking up at halftime,” said Shamokin head coach Jordan Rickert. “That and taking the ball strong to the hole. I felt we weren’t attacking the rim in the first half. In the second half we started to play the way we’ve been playing the last five games.”
Deptula scored a pair of inside baskets to start the third quarter and closed it with two threes, then hit 4 of 4 foul shots in the final quarter. The Indians’ sixth man last season, she is the most experienced player this year and likes that role.
“It gives me more confidence,” the senior said. “We all go off each other and nobody worries about who has the most points or anything like that.”
Indicative of the team play were the performances of Grace Nazih and Chloe Yoder. Nazih only scored five points but had nine rebounds, four assists and six steals. Yoder had six points and led the Indians with 11 rebounds.
“In the beginning of the season we were trying to work things out and feel each other out,” Rickert said. “But this group is very athletic and they’re all starting to feel more comfortable with their roles.”
Defensively, the Indians come to play every night. They forced Central into 19 turnovers and had a 31-24 rebounding advantage despite the presence of center Alison Groshek, who had eight points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots for the Jays. Point guard Gracia Eckenrode had six points, six rebounds and five assists.
Shamokin is off until next Thursday, when the Indians host Lewisburg.