Girls hoopsters off to 2-1 start

A big third quarter and a late defensive stop led the Whitehall girls basketball team past Saratoga Catholic 40-37 on Monday night.

The Railroaders outscored Saratoga Catholic by four points in the third quarter and the Railroaders held the Saints scoreless for the last two and a half minutes to earn a hard fought non-league win.

Ashley Davis scored 11 points for Whitehall, including the decisive three point shot with the game tied 37-37 with two minutes left in the game. Brittney Putorti also scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Victoria Christian was praised by head coach Jim Burgey for her ability to navigate the Saints’ press defense.

Natalie Pikus scored a game high 14 points for the Saints.

“We had a big third quarter, scoring 12 points. That was the difference. And that’s been our worst quarter” said Burgey.

Coming into the game, the Railroaders had been outscored 20-10 in the third quarter. But Whitehall finished the first half on a 7-0 run and the momentum carried over into the third quarter.

“At halftime I told them not to panic,” Burgey said. “They didn’t give up, they kept fighting and they played phenomenal defense tonight.

We’re not the team we could be, but if we continue to play like we did tonight we’ll beat a lot of teams.”

The Railroaders won the turnover battle, forcing the Saints into 26 turnovers while limiting their own to 17.

Both teams struggled to find any offensive rhythm in the first quarter combining for 13 points. Each fared better in the second quarter and the Railroaders went into the half trailing 21-20.

Tied 37-37 late in the fourth quarter, Davis hit what proved to be the game winning shot and the Railroaders held the Saints in check for the remainder of the game.

The win came three days after Whitehall committed 34 turnovers in a 34-20 loss to Corinth.

The Tomahawks scored 13 points in the first quarter, including an 11-0 run to start the game, and never looked back as it held Whitehall under 10 points in all four quarters.

“We lost the last game in the first three minutes,” Burgey said.

Christian led Whitehall with six points. 

Whitehall won its season opener on Dec. 5, defeating Salem, 35-31.

Whitehall outscored the Generals by five points in the second quarter and that proved to be the difference.

Putorti led Whitehall with a game high 16 points and Malia DeLorme scored 10 points before leaving with a lower body injury.

Whitehall is 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the league. The team visits last year’s league champion, Fort Edward, on Wed. Dec. 12.

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