BROCKWAY — A trophy at the end of the season would certainly be more satisfying but there aren’t likely to be any complaints about the one that the Brockway High School girls’ basketball team carried off the floor after their 54-44 win over Clarion in the title game of the Brockway Tip-Off Tournament Saturday.
The Lady Rovers (2-0) were able to get another solid game from seniors Leah Lindemuth and Kaitlyn Morelli who combined for 41 points in the title game.
Lindemuth, who had hit double digits before the end of the first quarter, led the way with 22 while Morelli finished with 19, including a pair of 3-pointers.
While the five underclassmen may have combined for just 13 points, they certainly kept things moving forward for Brockway.
“The underclassmen were a big key,” Brockway head coach Dick Esposito said. “They kept hitting the boards, making the shots when we needed them and hit their foul shots. Knowing that we were going to have to rely on them, it’s nice to see that they’re coming through. We’re still a pretty young team so I’m looking forward to seeing how well they develop.”
Clarion’s Wendy Bevridge also hit double digits with 18 points, including four 3-pointers but, with the exception of a few well-timed baskets to bring the Lady Bobcats close, wasn’t a big factor.
In fact, after bringing Clarion (1-1) back to within two midway through the third, had just two baskets the rest of the game.
“We switched up our defense in the second half and started to shadow Bevridge to try to slow her down,” Esposito said.
The plan worked rather well as Ali Troese, who scored all six of her points in the fourth-quarter, and Kait Constantino, who finished with 14, were left with the heavy lifting in the fourth.
Still, it wasn’t enough.
While Lindemuth scored 10 of Brockway’s 14 first-quarter points, it was Clarion that opened the second with a slim 16-14 advantage.
The Lady Bobcats started to struggle a little from the floor in the second quarter, hitting just three field goals, which allowed Brockway to get a little head of steam going as the Lady Rovers first took the lead then expanded on it as they went to the break in front, 26-22.
Brockway started the third on a 6-0 run to push the lead to double digits before Bevridge and Constantino rolled off eight points to close the gap to two, 32-30,
But key baskets from Lindemuth and Morelli spurred a 9-2 run to close the quarter and give Brockway a comfortable nine-point cushion to open the fourth.
“While we surrendered leads in both games it was nice to see that the girls kept their heads,” Esposito said. “They didn’t get frantic but continued to go about their business. We just kept taking it to them and taking it to them.”
A run of five unanswered points to open the fourth all but ended Clarion’s chances as Brockway pushed out to a 14-point lead, it’s biggest of the game.
From there Brockway started to work on the clock and eventually took home the 54-44 victory.
Both teams will be in action again Wednesday as Brockway will travel to Cameron County, while Clarion will travel to play Clarion-Limestone.
In Saturday’s consolation game:
Redbank Valley 48,
DuBois Central Catholic 47, OT
Despite a strong start, the DCC Lady Cardinals weren’t able to hold off a late charge by Redbank Valley giving the Lady Bulldogs a 48-47 overtime victory.
DCC (0-2) outscored the Lady Bulldogs 12-0 over the first five minutes of the game, leading to a 14-7 lead after one, but watched its offense slow considerably over the next three quarters.
Part of that reason was a sluggish performance at the free throw line where DCC went 10-for-27 in the game. But neither team was particularly stellar from the charity stripe as Redbank Valley also turned in a 6-for-19 effort.
Combined they converted on just 35 percent (16-46) of their shots.
Redbank Valley’s Tara Hinderliter led all scorers with 22 points while DCC sophomore Shayleigh Gulvas led the Lady Cardinals with 20.
While DCC came out of the gate strong, both teams suffered through a rough second quarter that saw them combine for just eight points.
The Lady Cardinals did the slightly better end of that as they scored five to take a 19-10 halftime lead but they lost ground after that.
Redbank Valley’s Hinderliter, who scored just four points in the first half, caught fire in the second half helping the Lady Bulldogs to slowly whittle away at the lead.
It took nearly all of the second half but a 3-pointer by Hinderliter with just 1:10 left to play gave Redbank Valley its first lead of the game at 36-35.
A free throw by Hinderliter with just 38 seconds remaining made it a two-point advantage.
That came in handy for the Lady Bulldogs as Gulvas came up with a game-tying bucket less than 10 seconds later to tie the score and eventually send it to overtime.
A 3-pointer by DCC junior Ashley Wruble to open the extra period gave the lead back to the Lady Cardinals and they eventually worked that to four.
However, Redbank Valley then went on a 9-0 run to swing the game in their favor a final time.
A 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds to play could have sent the game to another OT but DCC instead hit a shot from inside the arc just before the horn to set the final.
Redbank Valley will now host Karns City Wednesday while DCC will host Punxsutawney Thursday.