Hollidaysburg’s Bella Vent is fouled by Oakland Catholic’s London Creach.
By John Hartsock
KITTANNING — Losses don’t come any extra brutal than the one which the Hollidaysburg Girl Golden Tigers basketball workforce endured Wednesday evening.
Hollidaysburg confirmed grit, guts and gumption to place collectively a 10-point run and wipe out a 38-29 deficit on the three-quarter pole towards Oakland Catholic of their PIAA Class 5A second-round playoff recreation on the Armstrong Junior-Senior Excessive Faculty gymnasium.
Hollidaysburg, which entered the sport with an ideal 25-0 file and primary state rating in its classification, grabbed a 47-46 lead on a pair of foul photographs by senior guard Sydney Lear with 13 secconds left.
After an errant Oakland Catholic inbounds move within the ultimate seconds, Hollidaysburg regained possession and appeared to have the sport received, however Oakland Catholic lightning-quick senior guard Alexa Washington had different concepts.
The Division I North Florida commit sped in entrance of a Hollidaysburg inbounds move, made the interception, and drove to the basket for a game-winning layup with simply 4 seconds exhibiting on the clock, lifting the Girl Eagles to a shocking 48-47 victory.
“We misplaced within the second spherical of the state playoffs final yr, and it was in my thoughts that I didn’t need it to undergo that once more,” Washington stated. “They (Hollidaysburg) have been stacked up, I used to be guarding two gamers, and I felt like a DB (defensive again) on the market.
“As soon as I obtained the ball, there was just one factor to do — end the layup,” Washington added.
Oakland Catholic, the WPIAL runner-up, improved to 24-4 and can play McKeesport in a quarterfinal recreation Saturday at a web site and time to be decided. McKeesport superior with a 63-25 second-round win over Penn-Trafford Wednesday.
“It was a terrific end,” Oakland Catholic coach Eddie Benton, Jr. stated. “It was a recreation of runs — that’s playoff basketball. We lucked up on the finish.
“Hollidaysburg is a really scrappy workforce and so they’re very well-coached,” Benton added. “We determined to placed on a press, we obtained a fortunate steal, and Lexi (Washington) put it in for us.”
The gorgeous set of occasions broke the hearts of a Hollidaysburg teaching workers and its gamers that deserved a greater destiny.
“This workforce has a variety of battle,” stated visibly emotional Hollidaysburg coach Deanna Jubeck, who has directed the Girl Tigers to a 51-3 cumulative file over the previous two seasons. “They’ve all yr, since observe began in November.
“That’s simply the sort of grit that this group of youngsters has proven,” Jubeck added. “Any time that we’ve confronted adversity, this workforce has rallied, and gone on a run.”
It occurred once more Wednesday, as Hollidaysburg reeled off 10 straight factors to begin the fourth quarter and convert the 38-29 deficit right into a 39-38 benefit with 3:56 left.
After senior heart Alison Hatijak began the surge with a free throw, Lear hit a medium-range jumper and adopted with a 3-pointer from the highest of the circle to attract Hollidaysburg to inside three factors, 38-35.
Lear adopted with a pair of free throws earlier than freshman McKenna Weimert hit a baseline jumper to provide the Girl Tigers the 39-38 lead.
“We knew that we needed to choose issues up on the defensive finish, and we modified matchups and we have been capable of press up a bit of bit on their guards a bit of bit,” Jubeck stated.
The lead went forwards and backwards within the ultimate 4 minutes. After sophomore Bella Vent linked on a jumper from the proper nook to place Hollidaysburg forward, 41-38, Washington hit a pair of free throws and a layup to regain the lead for Oakland Catholic, 42-41.
Lear’s free throw tied the sport for Hollidaysburg, however Washington hit two free throws to place Oakland Catholic again in entrance, 44-42.
Vent transformed a conventional 3-point play, scoring a layup off a feed from sophomore Lauren Stevenson, drawing a foul, and hitting a free throw to place the Girl Tigers up, 45-44 with 26 seconds left.
Senior ahead Jill Gallo’s fast-break layup put Oakland Catholic again in entrance, 46-45, earlier than Lear’s two free throws gave Hollidaysburg its ultimate lead of the sport, 47-46.
Lear led all scorers with 19 factors, whereas Vent added 11 and Hatijak pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for Hollidaysburg.
Sophomore guard London Creach scored 15 factors and Washington added 14 for Oakland Catholic.
“I’m simply actual pleased with all of us,” Lear, one among Hollidaysburg’s 4 seniors, stated. “We performed arduous for 32 minutes and fought again tonight.”
That’s been Hollidaysburg’s modus operandi all season.
“All yr lengthy, no person however our 18 gamers and 5 coaches believed in our group of youngsters,” Jubeck stated. “However our gamers, and our seniors particularly, put their coronary heart and soul into this and gave it every thing they’d since November.”
HOLLIDAYSBURG (47): Lear 4 10-11 19, Hatijak 1 2-6 5, Vent 5 1-1 11, Stitt 0 0-0 0, Stevenson 2 0-0 6, Weimert 2 0-0 4, Steiner 0 0-0 0, DiPangrazio 0 0-0 0, Shoemaker 1 0-0 2. Totals – 15 13-18 47.
OAKLAND CATHOLIC (48): Hill 0 0-0 0, Haver 3 1-2 8, Washington 5 4-4 14, Creach 4 5-5 15, Gallo 2 1-2 5, Schorr 0 2-2 2, Hintemyer 1 0-0 2, Fontana 1 0-0 2. Totals -16 13-15 48.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Hollidaysburg 9 8 12 18 — 47
Oakland Catholic 11 13 14 10 — 48
3-point targets: Hollidaysburg 4 (Stevenson 2, Hatijak, Lear): Oakland Catholic 3 (Creach 2, Haver):
Information: Hollidaysburg (25-1); Oakland Catholic (24-4).
Officers: James Lambert, Tim Chapman, Karen Davis.
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