BROOKVILLE — Reversing a 21-point Pre-Christmas loss on the road, the Brookville Lady Raiders basketball team avenged its first game against Elk County Catholic on Senior Night Wednesday.
Jillian Taylor’s steal and two free throws with 52.8 seconds left in regulation gave the Lady Raiders their first lead of the game at 33-32 and Marcy Schindler added a free throw with 10.8 seconds on the clock to cap a come-from-behind 34-32 upset of ECC.
The Lady Crusaders led by as many as 11 points midway through the second quarter, but poor shooting — 8-for-46 from the field, 14-for-29 from the foul line including 2-for-7 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter — doomed their District 9 League road trip and dropped them to 13-7.
The loss could certainly hurt ECC’s seeding status in the District 9 Class A playoffs. Brookville wound up holding a 17-7 second-half edge after ECC led 25-17 at halftime.
“We could’ve finished the game off several times, but you can’t win basketball games when you can’t put the ball in the hoop from two feet out,” said Lady Crusaders head coach Ken Pistner, whose team beat Brookville 44-23 at home Dec. 16. “We had a lot of good looks on offense. It wasn’t that the execution wasn’t there. We just didn’t make shots.
“Our defense was good, rebounding was decent but you can’t shoot that. You’re lucky you don’t lose by 20.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Raiders turned in a refreshing effort in which they overcame similar shooting woes at 9-for-41. They were 14-for-22 from the line and got away with their 20 turnovers because the Lady Crusaders couldn’t turn most of them into points.
“We stayed in the game for a long time. There were a lot of dry spells both ways. The third quarter, it was dry both ways,” said Lady Raiders, whose team improved to 5-14. “That was a big win tonight on a big night against a well-coached basketball team, a playoff team.
“Hopefully, it’s something we can build upon for the next three games and also build momentum for next year.”
No player reached double-figure scoring for either team. Madison Johnson came off the bench to score eight points for the Lady Raiders. Marcy Schindler had six points and seven rebounds off the bench.
For ECC, Josie Smith and Reilly Herzing each scored eight points. Herzing, the team’s leading scorer who scored 16 points in the first meeting, was 2-for-12 from the field while grabbing nine rebounds. Cassidy Cunningham fouled out with five points and 12 rebounds.
Despite going 4:43 without scoring in a stretch that started late in the third quarter and ending with Madison Johnson’s two free throws at the 4:17 mark of the fourth quarter, the Lady Raiders by just five at 31-26.
But Smith’s free throw that put ECC up 32-26 with 3:41 wound up being the Lady Crusaders’ last point of the game.
Morgan Johnson’s layup off a Kira Powell pass got Brookville within 32-31 with 1:24 left and after the teams traded turnovers, Taylor came up big after entering the game as a defensive substitute. She got the steal in the backcourt, was fouled and hit both ends of a crucial 1-and-1 situation to put Brookville up for good at 33-32 with 52.8 seconds left.
Then after an ECC missed 3-pointer, the Lady Raiders ran the clock down to 10.8 seconds before Schindler was fouled. She hit one of two free throws and Makenzie Cashmer’s would-be game-winning 3-point shot missed with just over three seconds left.
“Jillian really made a nice play on defense, but not only that. She knocked down two free throws with all of the pressure on,” Powell said. “That was a big play. We had two big plays, Kira finding Morgan on the layup and then Jillian’s steal.
“We had a lot of learning points tonight, just great to get a win. Anytime you beat ECC, you know you beat someone. That’s a good win.”
NOTES: Brookville hosts Bradford Friday. ECC visits St. Marys Saturday. … The Lady Raiders, with no juniors on the roster, honored their two seniors — Brooke Shattenberg and Laken Hergert — prior to the varsity tip-off. Hergert had eight rebounds while Shattenberg collected six boards. … The Lady Raiders won the junior varsity game to improve to 15-1. Madison Johnson scored 11 points while Mikayla Aikens and Jenna Grant each scored eight points.