Junior Karli Zeps and sophomore Sarah Bach have formed what the McDaniel women's basketball team is calling the "quasi-post."
The two forwards enter most games at size disadvantages. Zeps is listed at 5-foot-10, Bach at 5-9. They have to find other ways to come down with rebounds and not get worn down inside by larger opposing players.
And as a result, there have been nights like Thursday, when the Green Terror were outrebounded by 29 in a slim win over Franklin & Marshall.
But then there have also been games like Saturday. Bach and Zeps combined for 14 boards, helped keep the rebound deficit slimmer, and lifted McDaniel to a 61-42 win over Swarthmore at Gill Center.
"We have to be scrappy, and just remember to box out and get good positioning," Zeps said. "At times, it works to our advantage because we are kind of smaller and faster like the guard types."
The Green Terror (7-1, 4-0 Centennial Conference) were still outrebounded by the Garnet, 33-32. But McDaniel collected 11 rebounds on the offensive glass. And after entering Saturday ninth in the conference in rebound margin at minus-8.4 boards a game, a one-rebound deficit is one the Terror will take.
"Bach is quick, and she's using that quickness inside and her ability to get boards and get rebounds and that's helping," McDaniel coach Becky Martin said. "When [Zeps] is 100 percent, I don't see any post being able to stay with her."
McDaniel didn't score for the first 5 minutes, 21 seconds of the game, but only found itself down 6-1. Zeps made the first Green Terror field goal with a layup and on the next possession, Jasmine Smith hit a 3-pointer from the right side to knot it at 6-6.
The Green Terror surged ahead, finishing the first quarter on a 6-1 run. Halle Burgess gave McDaniel its first lead with a 3 from the right corner that made it 11-8.
The Terror led by as many as 13 in the second quarter, connecting for a trio of 3s in the first four minutes of the period. Bach hit a trey from the right wing on McDaniel's first possession of the quarter, and Burgess and Lindsey Nichols soon followed with 3s of their own.
Nichols' 3 pushed the Green Terror's lead to 24-11, but the Garnet finished the first half on a 10-6 run that trimmed the deficit to nine at the break.
However, Swarthmore (2-4, 1-2) never got closer than seven points in the second half, and McDaniel ran away with the victory.
Nichols shot just 2 for 9 in the first half, scoring five points. The senior guard finished with a game-high 15 points despite shooting 5 for 18, but dished out a career-best six assists.
In addition to their rebounds, Zeps scored 10 points and Bach added five. Bach, a Manchester Valley graduate, is in her first season starting for the Terror after coming off of the bench last season.
The former Maverick is the team's second-leading rebounder, behind Zeps, while also contributing 2.5 points per game.
Carroll County Daily Headlines
"Everyone knows what role they have on the team," Bach said. "Once you kind of get in that mindset and know what you have to do, it makes it easy."
The Green Terror nabbed 10 steals, forcing 27 Swarthmore turnovers. McDaniel leads the conference in steals per game. The Terror also hit a season high 10 3-pointers
McDaniel doesn't play another conference game until Jan. 9, but it has gotten off to a strong start in Centennial play. The Green Terror, picked No. 1 in the preseason poll, are 4-0 to begin conference play, a year after making the NCAA Tournament.
"Going into this year after last year, you have certain expectations," Martin said. "The kids have bought in, they've been working hard. I'm excited. I'm excited about what I think we can do if we continue to make progress."