Christy Selagy (@ChristySelagy)
You wouldn’t guess that Gettysburg women’s basketball had missed a full season just from watching them. In mid-February 2020, the Bullets were a top 25 team and in March, they made it to the NCAA Tournament. Nearly two years later, the Bullets look different, but haven’t missed a beat.
Sure, they started out the 2021-22 season with a three-point loss to No. 20 Christopher Newport, but it’s been nothing but good news since. They were ranked No. 23 on the Dec. 8 D3hoops.com Top 25 poll after firing off six straight wins, including a 10-point victory over No. 5 Messiah in November.
And on Saturday, the Bullets got their seventh consecutive win, a resounding 50-26 victory over Haverford.
Delaney Donohoe (above) was one of three double-digit scorers for Gettysburg. (Photo: Christy Selagy/CoBL)
“We don’t really think of it as seven in a row in any way,” head coach Nate Davis said. “We just kind of move onto the next game and obviously we’re happy about (the win) for sure.”
When your defense stifles an opponent to a 17.6 shooting percentage, there’s even more reason to be happy. The defensive pressure was on from the outset: The closest the Fords got was within three points halfway through the first quarter, but a 10-0 Bullets run quelled any potential push.
Gettysburg’s inside game was the highlight of the first half, with 22 of their 29 points coming in the paint. Senior forward Mackenzie Tinner, a 6-foot-1 Council Rock North grad, scored 10 of her 12 points and grabbed all six of her rebounds in the first half.
“She established herself inside pretty early, which was really important for us and it set the tone offensively for us a little bit,” Davis said. “[Haverford] has some good forwards and for us to be able to execute tonight offensively and defensively, I thought it was really good, a strong key for us to have some offensive production from inside and then also be able to defend their forwards.”
The Bullets’ dominance in the paint didn’t escape the Fords or head coach Steph Carideo. They talked about it at halftime, in fact, and Carideo’s message was straightforward: That can’t happen again in the second half.
And it didn’t. The Bullets only scored 10 points in the paint in the second half. They took fewer shots, too, 18 compared to 30 in the first half.
The Fords also found more of an offensive rhythm during the third quarter, scoring 11 points to Gettysburg’s 12.
“That’s kind of been our MO. We’re fighting back too late and we’re not initiating it from the jump,” Carideo said. “I think a lot of that has to do with the experience… I think trying to get them more in that mindset of, ‘All right, if you’re not getting them defensively in positions they need to be, let’s try to do something to slow the game down a little bit more and be more physical in certain situations.’”
Sophomore guard Ally Landau led the way offensively for the Fords, scoring 11 points. Centennial Player of the Week Kayla Robinson added 13 rebounds and seven points.
Despite the loss, Carideo is optimistic for the future. The Fords have a 16-day break, which, while the longest of Carideo’s coaching career, should provide a chance for reflection and individual workouts.
Gettysburg senior guard Carly Rice had 12 points and provided a solid perimeter presence to supplement the Bullets’ inside play. Tinner’s 12 points came on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting in 15 minutes of play.
Rookie Delaney Donohoe—a 6-1 forward from Basking Ridge, N.J.—also posted double digits with 11 points; coming into the game, she was averaging five points per game. Part of her offensive surge came from her work with assistant coach Kevin Thomas, who encouraged her to shoot more. And another part sprung from something more fundamental.
“Coach has been on me recently to be more confident in myself, so it’s just been something I’m working on,” Donohoe said. “The last few practices, I’ve just been working on looking for myself a little bit more. I feel like that came through in the game today. I had my teammates supporting me, my coaches, so that’s really what I would credit it to.”
Donohoe’s family was also there to cheer her on. Her parents have attended a number of her games, though this was the first game her siblings were able to attend, too, which provided extra motivation.
Davis wasn’t surprised by Donohoe’s double-digit performance—he knew she was talented and her increased confidence showed she was “playing the way she’s capable of playing.”
Confidence will be key for the Bullets going forward. The national ranking is nice recognition, of course, but it doesn’t really change much for Davis. A successful season means taking it one day at a time, not taking anything for granted, not getting overconfident.
Gettysburg’s goals are essentially the same as they are every year: win a conference championship and make it to the NCAA Tournament. With players like 5-7 rookie guard Mackenzie Szlosek (10.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.9 apg), 5-7 senior guard Christina Richson (9.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and 6-0 sophomore forward Hannah Sauve (5.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg) filling out the starting lineup along Rice and Tinner, the Bullets are poised for another strong season.
“I’m certainly not overconfident in any way, but [...] those [goals] are still in front of us and we feel good about that,” Davis said. “That’s pretty much our goals every year, but we’re off to a good start in trying to accomplish those. We’ve just got to stay focused and take it one game at a time.”
Haverford men mount comeback win
Josh Love (above) shoots the game-winning 3. (Photo: Christy Selagy/CoBL)
The game looked a lot different on the men’s side, with nine lead changes and eight ties. With less than five minutes to go and down 10 points, Haverford stormed back to win the game, 66-63.
How did the Fords feel after the back-and-forth game that went down to the wire?
“Like I just lost a couple years off the end of my life,” head coach Patrick Doherty said with a laugh. “I told the guys in the locker room, we haven’t had a lot of wins like that since I've been around where we were kind of down the whole way and a lot of things were going really poorly […] I’m as proud as I've ever been of how we played, especially in the last eight minutes or so.”
A game filled with slim leads shifted in Gettysburg’s favor about mid-way through the second half. Then, junior guard Elijah Williams put the Bullets up by 10 with a huge dunk with 4:50 remaining. But Haverford sophomore Nicholas Stewart scored six consecutive points that sparked an 11-1 run to tie the game.
With 43 seconds left, Haverford junior guard Josh Love nailed a deep, game-winning 3-pointer.
“I caught the ball, I think I looked up at the shot clock and it seemed pretty low,” Love said. “I can shoot from pretty deep. It’s not the first time I've made that shot, so I just let it go.”
Love finished with 18 points and seven rebounds to lead the Fords. Junior forward Nate Torres played a pivotal role, too, with 15 points and nine rebounds, and junior guard Jackson Ryan chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.
Freshman guard Carl Schaller, a 6-0 Garnet Valley grad, led the Bullets with 18 points and classmate Colin Farrel added 14.