BROCKWAY — The A-C valley girls basketball team proved to have too much heighth – and depth — for Brockway to overcome Monday, as the Lady Falcons handed the Lady Rovers their first loss of the season, 56-41.
A-C Valley jumped out to a quick 11-3 lead and pushed its lead to as many as 11 points twice in the opening quarter, including at 22-11 at quarter’s end.
However, Brockway (3-1) flipped the momentum in the second quarter and used a gritty effort to outscore the Lady Falcons 7-4 in the period to pull within eight points at the break, 26-18.
The third quarter proved to be indicative of the game as a whole, as A-C Valley pushed its lead to as many 14 points, only to see the Lady Rovers again battle within eight points twice (34-26 and 36-28).
But, that’s as Brockway got as the Lady Falcons won the fourth quarter, 16-13, to come away with a 15-point victory.
Senior Leah Lindemuth led the Lady Rovers with 18 points — 14 of which came after halftime. Younger sister Morgan Lindemuth and Kaitlyn Morelli each added eight points for Brockway.
“We played with them most of the game, and coming into halftime down eight, I thought was great,” said Brockway coach Dick Esposito. “They got up like 12 on us in the first quarter, and we made a nice, comeback and stayed right with them.
“In the third quarter, we told them if we’re going to be down, let’s get out of this (quarter) down six points. But, we gave up a couple easy baskets right at the end of the third quarter and went down 12. But, thew kids hustled, and unfortunately in the second half the had the height and the size on us. They pounded the ball inside and we weren’t hitting our outside shots, which the first three games we were. Tonight, we were just off.”
While the Lady Rovers battled until the very end, A-C Valley all but took control of the game with its 11-3 run to open the night.
Brockway fought back within five points at 14-9 with just over three minutes left in the quarter thanks to two baskets from Morelli and one by Shaughney Richardson.
However, the Lady Falcons closed out the quarter on an 8-4 spurt to lead 22-11. Ellie Thompson scored nine of her game-high 26 points in the opening eight minutes for A-C Valley.
Points were at a premium in the second quarter, as Brockway held the Lady Falcons scoreless for 5:33. That defensive effort allowed the Lady Rovers to inch within six points at 22-16 on hoops by both Lindemuths and a free throw by Morgan Lindemuth.
A-C Valley finally cracked the scoreboard when Thompson scored with 2:27 left in the half. Teammate Allison Sherman then scored just under a minute later to make it 26-16 before Morelli scored off a steal in the final minute to send teams in the locker rooms with the Lady Falcons up 26-18.
The Lady Falcons came out strong in the third quarter, using an 8-2 spurt to build a 14-point lead at 34-20 with just over five minutes left in the period.
A quick 6-0 run by Brockway on two baskets by Leah Lindemuth and one from Morelli cut the A-C Valley lead to eight at 34-26. Thompson and Lindemuth then traded baskets before the Lady Falcons scored the final four points to lead 40-28 after three quarters.
The teams traded baskets to open the fourth, with Morgan Lindemuth and Savannah Buttery scoring for Brockway. But, the Lady Falcons used a 9-3 spurt to take its largest lead of the night at 20 points (55-35) before Leah Lindemuth scored six points over the final 2-plus minutes to set the final score.
Brockway is back in action Friday at Elk County Catholic.