BROCKWAY — The Brockway girls got off to a slow start Monday against visiting Clarion, but the Lady Rovers used a strong push to end the first half to seize control of the game on their way to a convincing 49-29 victory.
Clarion jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the opening three minutes and held Brockway scoreless for the first four-plus minutes of the game. However, once senior Leah Lindemuth broke the ice at the 3:49 mark of the quarter, it was all Lady Rovers from there in the first half.
Lindemuth’s basket sparked a 10-2 spurt to end the quarter — a run that carried over into the second period and was part of a much larger 26-8 surge that gave the Lady Rovers a 12-point lead (26-14) at the break.
Clarion (4-7) got no closer than 10 points in the second half before the Lady Rovers slowly pulled away to capture the 20-point victory — Brockway second of the season over the Lady Cats — to improve to 6-4. Brockway topped Clarion, 54-44, on the opening weekend of the season in the finals of the Brockway Tip-Off Tournament.
Lindemuth posted a huge double-double to led the way for the Lady Rovers (6-4). She scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to go along with a handful of steals and blocks. Lindemuth dropped in 12 of her points during the Lady Rovers’ big first-half run.
Fellow senior Kaitlyn Morelli also reached double figures, while Lady Rovers Shaughney and Morgan Lindemuth each chipped in six points. Richardson added four rebounds, while Maggie Schmader had four points and eight boards.
Brockway also got a strong collective effort on the defensive end, holding Clarion’s top two scorers — Wendy Beveridge (7 points) and Kait Constantino (6 points) to a combined 13 points. Beveridge had 18 in the first meeting, while Constantino netted 14. KK Girvin led the Lady Cats Monday with eight points.
“We played together as team tonight probably better than any game we have played all year,” said Brockway coach Dick Esposito. “We came out in a special defense and Kaitlyn Morelli and Maggie Schamder shut down their two big scorers (Beveridge and Constantino). They knew who they were, and we worked on that. I told them if we hold them to half of what they scored last time, the win couls be ours as long as we started making shots.
“We started out a little slow (offensively), but they picked it up. The senior leadership tonight was great, along with Schmader, and they played super defense. We held them to 29 (points) and they had 44 last time.
“We’re a physical, aggressive team, and the girls like to play that way. We we say they (refs) weren’t going to call a lot of the little fouls tonight, they knew exactly how to adjust to it. Our defense is really starting to come along, and our offense is a little slow here and there. But, we’re starting to make shots now, which is a good thing for us.”
Lady Cats Ali Troese, Girvin and Beveridge each scored hoops in the opening three minutes of the game to put Clarion up 6-0. Leah and younger sister Morgan Lindemuth than scored back-to-back buckets to get Brockway rolling.
Sadie Rudesyle countered with a basket for Clarion, but Brockway scored the final six points of the quarter — four by Leah Lindemuth — to take its first lead at 10-8.
Schmader and Girvin traded scores to open the second quarter before the Lady Rovers seized control of the game with a 14-2 spurt. Leah Lindemuth jump-started the run with back-to-back layups. She added a third hoop in the run, while Schmader, Morgan Lindemuth, Richardson and Morelli also had baskets.
Morelli’s score on a putback with 21 seconds left in the half made it 26-12 before Girvin made two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to send the teams into the break with Brockway up 26-14.
Leah Lindemuth wasted little time scoring to open the second half, as she pulled down a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup. The teams then traded a series of 4-0 spurts, with Clarion getting within 10 points twice on baskets by Girvin and Rudesyle at 28-18 and 32-22, respectively.
Lady Rover Macie Smith followed with her lone basket of the game, while two Girvin free throws made it a 10-point game again at 34-24 with 1:32 left in the third.
Brockway promptly closed the quarter on a 6-0 spurt, with Morelli scoring two of those baskets, to give the Lady Rovers a 40-24 advantage after three quarters. Morelli scored six of her 13 points in the third.
Neither team scored in the opening two minutes of the fourth, with Beveridge completing a three-point play at the 5:49 mark for the first points of the quarter. That play accounted for nearly half her points on the night.
Clarion managed just one more hoop (by Girvin) the rest of the way as Brockway closed the game on a 9-2 run to set the final margin at 20 points. Morelli went 3 of 4 at the foul line in the fourth, whilke both Lindemuths and Richardson each had baskets.
Brockway is back in action Wednesday at home against Johnsonburg.