HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS' BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Blairsville clinches share of Heritage Conference title with 19th straight win
Defending conference champ Blairsville clinched at least a share of the conference title and notched its 19th straight win by coasting past Ligonier Valley, 65-42, in a Heritage Conference girls’ basketball game Tuesday.
The Bobcats (20-1, 15-0 conference) can claim the conference title outright with a win over second-place Marion Center on the road Thursday.
Last year, Blairsville went 16-0 in conference play to capture the Heritage Conference title. The Bobcats then won the school’s first ever District 6 title.
“We’re getting some balanced scoring and some good bench scoring. Things are looking up and getting better at the right time,” Blairsville coach Ralph McGinnis said. “Marion Center’s a tough place to get a win. It’s definitely going to be a tough battle until the end on Thursday.”
Chelsey Koren and Laurel O’Barto each notched double-doubles to lead the Bobcats. Koren racked up game-highs in points (25) and rebounds (11), O’Barto chipped in 12 points and a game-best 10 assists, and Nicole Boyer scored 18 points.
Olivia Miller scored 12 points to guide Ligonier Valley. Taylor Rudnik added 10 points.
Ligonier Valley (10-10, 8-5) travels to Purchase Line on Thursday.
MARION CENTER 49, UNITED 28: Second-place Marion Center raced to a 16-point halftime lead and then smothered United in the second half to secure its fourth straight win in a Heritage Conference game in Armagh.
Chantel Glasser scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds to guide Marion Center. Jenny Irvin added 13 points and four assists, Morgan Glasser pulled down seven boards, and Kearsten Brocious had eight points, four assists and three steals.
United’s Eden Bloom amassed five steals and five rebounds and led all scorers with 20 points.
Taylor Mack added five steals for the Lions.
Both teams play Thursday. Marion Center (18-3, 14-1) plays host to Blairsville and United (13-7, 10-5) travels to Penns Manor.
SALTSBURG 58, PENNS MANOR 45: Saltsburg guard Abbie Okopal scored a career-high 24 points, Abby Peace notched a double-double, and the Trojans beat visiting Penns Manor in a Heritage Conference game.
Okopal made 12 of 13 free throws, including 6 of 6 in the fourth quarter.
“She’s a hustler and she never gives up,” Saltsburg coach Janelle Reed said of Okopal.
“They were pressing us a lot in the fourth quarter and trying to foul and she stepped up and hit all of her free throws. I teased her after the game and said, ‘You really have ice in your veins, kid.’”
Peace piled up 11 points, three blocks and a game-high 15 rebounds. Ashton Battistelli scored 11 points, Olivia Satler chipped in six rebounds and two blocks, and Cassidy Edmundson had six rebounds.
Sarah DaBella scored 10 points to power Penns Manor.
Both teams play Thursday. Saltsburg (8-10, 6-6) travels to Northern Cambria and Penns Manor (5-16, 3-12) plays host to United.
PURCHASE LINE 53, HARMONY 33: Purchase Line built a 23-point halftime lead and recorded its first win in 22 days by rolling over Harmony in a non-conference game in Westover.
Ashley Goodlin paced Purchase Line with 12 points and three steals. Allison Goodlin added 10 points and four assists, Mikhala Stover scored 10 points, and Jaycelyn Fleming and Cassie McCoy each grabbed seven rebounds.
Harmony’s Stephanie Maseto led all scorers with 19 points.
Lindsay Welteroth made three 3-point field goals and scored 12 points.
Purchase Line (4-15, 1-12) plays host to Ligonier Valley on Thursday. Harmony welcomes Williamsburg on Friday.
HOMER-CENTER 57, NORTHERN CAMBRIA 22: Homer-Center took an 18-0 second-quarter lead and limited host Northern Cambria to just eight field goals to earn an easy win in a Heritage Conference game.
Homer-Center’s Julia Buggey swiped five steals and led all scorers with 11 points. Kristina Albright scored 10 points, and Alexis Leysock added game-highs in rebounds (7) and steals (7).
Katie Baum scored eight points to lead the Colts.
Homer-Center (9-12, 6-10) travels to Richland on Friday. Northern Cambria plays host to Saltsburg on Thursday.