Down to the buzzer, exciting, lively. These are just a few words to describe the action seen on the court this Saturday when the Elizabethtown College women’s basketball team took on Albright College. The Jays pulled off a 65-62 win after much back-and-forth action between the two teams at Thompson Gymnasium.
From the beginning, the Blue Jays held a lead over Albright. The offense was able to maintain the upper hand, taking advantage of the court and using it well. At halftime Etown was up by five, leading 35-30.
In the second half, the Blue Jays fought hard to keep up with the Lions. In the final quarter, Albright was able to catch up and use strong offensive maneuvers to tie the game 55-55 for a brief moment. However, Etown’s Nadine Yunginger, a junior, was able to score and hold off the attack from Albright.
In the last 30 seconds of the game, the two Etown seniors, Stephanie Ellwood and Jayci Scannapieco, defended their team well. Ellwood succeeded in her layup while Scannapieco defended the basket, leading to the Blue Jays victory 65-62.
The stage was set for a Blue Jays victory, since it was Senior Day for Ellwood and Scannapieco. Posters were hung throughout the gym and the two were recognized for their dedication to the team.
Alongside the two seniors, other strong players included sophomore Kendra Beittel, who scored 20 points throughout the game, and first-year Taylor Kreider who registered a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing ten rebounds.
“Although there have been a few stars on the court, teamwork has been the key to success,” Head Coach Yvonne Kauffman said. “The team has come together. Our strength comes from the players on the bench coming in and playing [competitively].”
This win was particularly needed after the loss at Widener University last Wednesday. The Jays lost 79-52 after Widener held a strong lead throughout.
Earlier in the season, the Jays faced off against Albright and Widener, scoring two wins against them. Although they were victorious before, as the season winds down, all teams have come out swinging as they head into the conference semifinals.
“Although the Blue Jays are strong on offense, defense is really stepping up and is meeting standards,” Kauffman said.
“Ellwood and Kreider have both been players of the week,” Kauffman said. “But Kendra [Beittel] and Nadine [Yunginger] have both been doing a great job at helping to set things up.”
In addition to it being Senior Day, raffle tickets were also sold at the event to support a local player’s family friend who was diagnosed with cancer. The players have shirts with the last name “Coblenentz” imprinted on them, for Beth Coblenentz, a Lancaster County resident. All proceeds from the raffle will go to the family in need. The raffle winners will be announced at the final home game on Feb. 14.
“The donations have really hit close to home for many of the players,” Kauffman said. “[Coblenentz] is in the fourth stage of colon cancer,” she continued. “She’s a good friend of a player’s parents.”
Although the season is nearly over, Kauffman said things are heating up for the team and that fans and students alike should be excited for the last few games of the season.
“We push the ball, run the ball, and people have come to me and said we’re playing really good ball,” Kauffman said. “We are one of the top schools in rebounding and we’re working at fine tuning everything for the remainder of the season.”