BROOKVILLE — The Ridgway and Keystone girls basketball team’s had 13 lead changes in their District 9 Class AA quarterfinal game on Wednesday evening at Brookville High School, but the game changed as Lady Elker forward Emily Fullem picked up her fourth foul with a minute and a half to play in the third quarter.
Ridgway was down 32-28 at that point, and the Lady Elkers never really got much going from there as they were eliminated by the Lady Panthers, 50-31.
“It was definitely going to be one of those give-and-take games,” said Ridgway coach Kyle Gordon. “It was just back-and-forth, back-and-forth. I think Keystone is a better offensive team, I think our girls are a better defensive team.
“Emily getting four fouls kind of shook us a bit. Keystone definitely got hot.
“That’s a team that I’d love to play them again. I wish they were on our schedule because they’re certainly a competitive team. I thought our girls played well against them.”
Ridgway didn’t have an answer for Keystone’s Taylor Geer, who scored 31 points on the night, including 20 in the second half.
Keystone led 35-28 after three quarters, and Geer led the fourth quarter takeover by the Lady Panthers. Keystone won the fourth quarter, 15-3, with Geer scoring the first 12 points over the first 6:35 of the final period.
Turnovers plagued both teams in the first half as both sides found themselves in the high teens in the category.
The two teams went for nine lead changes in the first half with the final coming from a Fullem putback with 1:12 to play in the half, giving Ridgway a 19-18 lead.
Fullem also got a hook shot in the final minute, while Geer had a layin.
Ridgway’s Casey Woodford hit a free throw with 14.7 seconds left, but the Lady Panthers’ Tessa Weaver had a layup to end the first half with the teams going to the locker room tied at 22.
Ridgway’s Alyssa Kasmierski gave her team their final lead with a bucket with 4:50 to play in the third quarter before Emily Lauer gave Keystone the lead for good with 2:54 left.
Fullem picked up her fourth foul moments later, and the Lady Panthers ended the game with an 18-3 run over the final 7:30.
Fullem had 13 points and 12 rebounds in her final game in a Ridgway uniform.
Ridgway, which finished the season at 12-11 and played in their first district playoff game since 2004, graduates three seniors in Fullem, Karley LaBenne and Josie Benninger. Benninger did not play due to injury Wednesday evening.
“I told our three seniors they’re always going to be part of this team,” said Gordon. Any success this team has after this point can be traced back to those girls and their leadership. We’re just going to keep building and keep moving forward.”