CLAYTON — If the ball was in Copenhagen’s possession, it almost always touched Raegan Dalrymple’s hands at least once. The sophomore forward played a key role for the Golden Knights in their 54-27 Frontier League crossover girls basketball victory Tuesday over Thousand Islands.
With the Golden Knights struggling to hit their shots, Dalrymple’s play in the post became crucial. She finished with 20 points and eight offensive rebounds, nine in total.
“I’ve been trying to move a lot and get open and help my teammates get open.” Dalrymple said. “We’ve learned how to shoot better on the outside and our post moves have gotten a lot better, just overall working together is a lot better.”
Dalrymple has put an emphasis on improving her post play, and being more physical down low.
“Raegan has improved so much over the last year, she has improved offensively and her toughness and her strength and her stick-to-itiveness,” Copenhagen coach Natalie Scott said. “So we really want her to touch the ball, for us to be successful she has to touch the ball. And our kids are so team-oriented, they’re such a team this year that they want to do whatever is best for the team.”
Dalrymple’s impact was felt just as heavily on the defensive floor, she collected a team high six steals and four blocks.
Midway through the second quarter and parts of the second half, Scott sent forward Charli Carroll into play alongside Dalrymple, giving Copenhagen (7-1 overall, 7-0 league) a significant height advantage over the Vikings (4-3, 3-2). Not only did this allow the Golden Knights to control more of the rebounds, it made it even more difficult for Thousand Islands to score inside.
“We’ve been working it,” Scott said of her strategy to play both Dalrymple and Carroll at the same time. “There are sometimes when I can just have one of them in, but when I get a chance I really try to get both of them in there and see what kind of advantages we can get inside.”
The Golden Knights struggled to shoot the ball consistently, but shots began to fall as the game went on. The only other player, aside from Dalrymple, to score in double digits was Meaghen Fitzpatrick. The junior guard scored 10 points and hit two of the team’s three 3-pointers. Fitzpatrick had an opportunity to handle the ball, but she was just one of many Copenhagen guards who tried to facilitate the offense.
“Having more than one person, we can run the ball and do different plays,” Fitzpatrick said. “All of us can shoot and all of us can pass well.”
While the Golden Knights struggled to hit shots, their ball movement throughout the game was solid.
On the other side of the court, Thousand Islands point guard Kennady Amo desperately tried to figure out how to penetrate the Copenhagen defense.
She finished with a team-high 10 points, but got to the foul line six times, more than any player on either team. Her strategy was to be aggressive and force her way to the rim.
“The first few quarters I knew I would get stuffed if I went up because she’s big so I tried to just draw her over and kick it over [to someone else],” Amo said of Dalrymple. “That’s one of my main goals, I’m not worried about my three because that’s pretty good, I’m just trying to get stronger and go to the basket and help out my team that way. Go to the foul line and get my points that way.”
Amo mentally worked through the defense as she dribbled the ball while trying not to get trapped. The whole time she was trying to find way to exploit a hole or a flaw.
“I think of what I can do better, we were having trouble scoring so I had to step it up and that’s what I tried to do, I tried to take it to the basket more,” Amo said. “And yeah, I try to think of different plays for coach to run, because we kind of run out, they figured out our other ones. So I was just sitting there thinking about what we could run and at halftime we made a play together and run it out here.”