HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Mack's last-second shot saves the day for United girls
United’s Taylor Mack hit a fast-break layup with two seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift the Lions to a thrilling 49-48 win over host Saltsburg in a Heritage Conference girls’ basketball game Wednesday.
With the Trojans clinging to a 48-47 lead, Saltsburg’s Olivia Satler drew a foul, sending her to the free throw line for a one-and-one with 10 seconds to play. Satler missed the free throw, United corralled the rebound and immediately pushed the ball upcourt to Mack.
Mack crossed the half-court line, drove to the basket aggressively and banked in a layup to give the Lions a 49-48 lead.
Saltsburg lobbed the ball upcourt but didn’t get a shot off before time expired.
“It was disappointing to come up short, but we’ll definitely improve from this,” Saltsburg coach Janelle Reed said. “We had the fourth-quarter curse before this because teams were blowing us away in the fourth. For us to bust our butts and come back to take the lead late like that was very encouraging.”
Eden Bloom scored 14 points and pulled down a season-high 18 rebounds to power United. Mack added 10 points, three steals and three assists, and Kylee Surike had eight points and three assists.
Emilie Okopal racked up a game-high 17 points and had four steals for Saltsburg. Abby Peace tacked on 10 points, six steals and six rebounds, and Ashton Battistelli had six points and four steals.
Both teams play Friday. Saltsburg (0-4) travels to Propel, and United (3-0) visits Northern Cambria.
BLAIRSVILLE 63, PENNS MANOR 17: Three Blairsville players reached double figures in scoring and the Bobcats limited visiting Penns Manor to seven field goals en route to a romp in a Heritage Conference game.
Chelsey Koren scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the first half, Laurel O’Barto scored nine of her 11, and the Bobcats jumped out to a 31-point halftime lead, 41-10.
“We played pressure defense and forced them into 16 turnovers, and we converted a lot of those turnovers into quick points,” Blairsville coach Ralph McGinnis said of the first half.
Koren nabbed six steals and collected a game-high 10 rebounds, O’Barto notched six steals and a game-high eight assists, and Kia Clayton had 10 points.
Emma Tomayko led Penns Manor with five points.
Blairsville (2-1) travels to United on Monday, and Penns Manor plays host to Purchase Line on Friday.
LIGONIER VALLEY 62, HOMER-CENTER 54: Ligonier Valley erupted offensively in the fourth quarter and pulled away in a back-and-forth game to outlast Homer-Center in a Heritage Conference game at the Homer Dome.
Homer-Center held a three-point halftime lead, 32-29, and carried a one-point lead, 43-42, into the fourth quarter.
However, on the strength of six points from Taylor Rudnik and five points from Madison McLaughlin, the Rams outscored the Wildcats 20-11 in the fourth quarter to pull away.
Helene Bloom scored 18 points to lead Ligonier Valley. Olivia Miller added 13 points, and McLaughlin had 10.
Sydney Horel amassed game highs in points and rebounds with 21 and 14, respectively, for Homer-Center.
Julia Buggey added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Alexis Leysock had 10 points and six assists.
Homer-Center (1-1) travels to Marion Center on Friday, and Ligonier Valley visits Conemaugh Township tonight.
MARION CENTER 67, PURCHASE LINE 26: The visiting Stingers kept Purchase Line off the scoreboard in the second quarter en route to a 32-point halftime lead and never looked back in winning their Heritage Conference opener.
Marion Center outscored the Red Dragons 20-0 in the second quarter to build a commanding 41-9 lead at the break. The Stingers carried a 59-16 lead into the fourth quarter.
Chantel Glasser scored a game-high 20 points to lead Marion Center, and Kearsten Brocious drained three 3s and finished with 11 points. Hanna Jo Beer added nine points, while Jenny Irvin and Morgan Glasser chipped in eight apiece.
Mikhala Stover had 11 points for Purchase Line.
Both teams play Friday. Marion Center (2-1, 1-0 conference) welcomes Homer-Center, and Purchase Line visits Penns Manor.