Twice this season, the West Shamokin Wolves have almost had Penns Manor’s number.
The Wolves held a lead going into the fourth quarter of a 47-44 loss at Penns Manor on Jan. 2. In the rematch on Friday at West Shamokin, Penns Manor held a five-point lead going into the fourth quarter and held off the Wolves for a 45-39 win in a matchup of the top two teams in the Heritage Conference North division girls’ basketball ranks.
Penns Manor, the North champion, trailed the North runner-up 14-9 after the first quarter but outscored the Wolves 13-4 in the second to take a 22-18 lead into halftime.
The Comets forced back-to-back turnovers for two buckets in a 15-second span while taking the lead in the second quarter.
And when it came to defense, it was a mutual admiration society between West Shamokin coach Frank Nagy and Penns Manor coach Jason Miloser.
“Jason has them playing extremely well,” Nagy said. “He’s really getting the most out of those girls, and they worked incredibly hard defensively. I thought we weren’t being as fine in terms of execution, the wings getting open and things like that, and they did an outstanding job defensively bringing aggression, and I think that got us a little off our game.”
“West Shamokin plays great defense,” Miloser said. “I was really happy with the way our defense played. We didn’t do well in that first quarter of moving our feet and playing help defense. After the first quarter I thought we did a good job locking down on the defensive end. And we did better job on offense of moving the ball and making that extra pass.”
Lauren Bagley led Penns Manor with a game-high 18 points. The 5-foor-3 senior point guard made four 3-pointers.
Megan Dumm scored 11 points and Lauren Dumm chipped in eight. Lauren Dumm also had 10 rebounds and four assists, and Megan Dumm had eight rebounds and six steals.
“It’s one of those things where they have so many weapons,” Nagy said. “Bagley killed us. We work really hard defensively to take away certain girls, and there are certain things you give up and they knocked them down. Bagley was outstanding tonight, and then both the Dumm sisters did a nice job. Every time they drove, if we didn’t help right away they got to the rim and scored. Every time we made a mistake they capitalized, and that’s why they’re 18-1. they’re just aren’t any holes in their offense and defense, and that’s tribute to Jason and what he’s doing with those girls.”
Sophie Fusaro led West Shamokin with 12 points to go with five rebounds, and Lydia McIlwain scored 11 points and had seven rebounds. Lexie Young grabbed eight boards, and Abby Oesterling had six steals and four rebounds.
“It was nice to see us battle,” Nagy said, “but you have to play a full 32 minutes to beat a team like that.”
“It’s always tough going on the road to play a great team,” Miloser said. “I’m just really happy with a really gritty win and happy with the girls for keeping their composure and sticking together and just grinding and believing in one another and finding a way to pull it out.”
Both teams play Tuesday. Penns Manor (18-1, 10-1) visits Northern Cambria, and West Shamokin (11-7, 8-4) plays host to Marion Center.
UNITED 58, BLAIRSVILLE 45: United pulled away from Blairsville in the third quarter and survived shaky free throw shooting in a Heritage Conference road game.
The Lions led 12-10 after first quarter, 28-20 at halftime and extended the lead to 13 points in the third quarter. Maizee Fry, shut out in the first half, scored all 12 of her points in the second.
United finished only 6-for-16 from the free throw line.
“Fry didn’t have a point in the first half,” United coach Paul Hall said. “We made a little adjustment in the second half and got the ball to her. Blairsville came out and was real physical and dominant on the boards. We started stepping up in the second quarter and third quarter. We let them hand around in the fourth, but they had to foul us at the end. We just have to start making a better percentage from the free throw line when we’re getting down toward the end.”
Fry also grabbed 14 rebounds for a double-double. Madison Duplin scored a team-high 13 points to go with seven assists and five steals, and Brook Murlin and Lauren Donelson each scored 11 points.
Lexi Risinger led Blairsville with 15 points and Julia Potts scored 14.
United (16-3, 11-1) plays host to St. Joseph on Monday. Blairsville plays at Shade on Monday.
PURCHASE LINE 48, NORTHERN CAMBRIA 13: Purchase Line led 19-1 after the first quarter and 27-1 at halftime and coasted past Northern Cambria in a Heritage Conference home game.
Bethany Smith led Purchase Line with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. She also came up with five steals.
Emileigh Syster finished with 10 points, and Abby Goss grabbed 10 rebounds to go with six points. Addy Beer finished with eight rebounds and five steals. In all, nine players scored the Red Dragons.
Purchase Line (10-8, 6-6) plays at Harmony on Wednesday.
HOMER-CENTER 47, SALTSBURG 31: Trailing at halftime, Homer-Center turned up the defense in the second half and beat Saltsburg in a Heritage Conference road game.
The Wildcats trailed 23-22 at halftime and then held Saltsburg to two field goals and eight points in the second half.
Homer-Center surged into the lead while outscoring Saltsburg 13-3 in the third quarter. The Wildcats spread the wealth in the second half, with four of five starters doing the scoring.
Molly Kosmack led Homer-Center with 13 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots. Macy Sardone and Kennidy Page scored 10 points apiece, and Marlee Kochman had nine points to go with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Ayannah Elliott chipped in the other five points off the bench.
Makenzie Simpson led Saltsburg with 11 points.
Homer-Center (13-4, 9-2), which has already clinched a berth in the Heritage Conference semifinals as the South runner-up opposite North champion West Shamokin, plays host to Blairsville on Tuesday. Saltsburg (7-10, 3-8) plays at Blairsville on Thursday.
CALVARY BAPTIST 30, MOUNT CARMEL CHRISTIAN 23: Sarah Covato scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lift Calvary Baptist over Mount Carmel Christian in a non-conference game.
Miranda Pounds raked in 18 rebounds to go with four points. Mikayla Mortiner scored six points, and Michaela Ingmire had the other four.
Calvary Baptist rebounded from a two-point first quarter and outscored Mount Carmel 11-1 in the second quarter and 17-12 in the second half.
Calvary Baptist played without starters Megan Shank, who has a partially torn ACL, and Allie Mumau, who has an ankle injury.
Calvary Baptist (4-6) plays at Clearfield Alliance on Monday.
APOLLO-RIDGE 76, NORTHGATE 47: Apollo-Ridge made 15 3-point field goals and shot past Northgate in a WPIAL Section 1-AA home game.
The Vikings made one more 3-pointer than they made 2s. Keighton Reese led the way with seven 3s and finished with 27 points. Jake Fello made five 3s and finished with 20 points. Klay Fitzroy chipped in 14 points on the interior.
Apollo-Ridge trailed 12-9 after the first quarter and the outscored Northgate 25-12 in the second period and 42-23 in the second half.
The Vikings, 12-5 overall, improved their playoff standing, moving to 7-3, two games ahead of fourth-place Winchester Thurston and two behind second-place Sto-Rox.
Apollo-Ridge plays at Summit Academy on Tuesday.
SHALER 80, INDIANA 69: Shaler made 10 3-point field goals to Indiana’s seven, and that made a big difference in a WPIAL Class 5A Section 3 game.
Indiana led the first-place team in the section 19-15 after the first quarter, but Shaler racked up 23 points in the second quarter and took a 38-33 lead into halftime.
The Indians stayed within striking distance going into the fourth quarter at 54-51 going into the fourth quarter, but Shaler had another big period in the fourth and put up 26 points to Indiana’s 18.
Indiana (3-14, 0-10) had one few field goal than Shaler (12-5, 9-1), and each team went 14-for-18 from the free throw line.
Mehki Reynolds scored a game-high 23 points for Shaler to lead four players in double figures.
Alec Petroff led Indiana with 22, Luke Ciocca scored 15, and Chase Walker had 12.
Indiana plays at Kiski Area on Tuesday.
PURCHASE LINE 75, HARMONY 55: Purchase Line scored 21 points in the first quarter and 26 in the third and eased past Harmony in a non-conference game.
The Red Dragons led 21-11 after the first quarter, maintained the 10-point spread going into halftime and then stretched it to 22 by the end of the third quarter.
Jacob Barnett poured in 25 points to lead Purchase Line. Hunter Antisdel scored 14, Mello Sanchez and Isaac Huey finished with 13 apiece. Jayce Brooks chipped in seven.
Purchase Line (9-8, 6-6 Heritage Conference) plays host to Harmony on Tuesday.
CALVARY BAPTIST 60, MOUNT CARMEL 15: Calvary Baptist cruised to its 10th victory of the season at home despite missing its leading scorer.
The Patriots led 39-9 at halftime.
Shane Meckley powered Calvary Baptist with 30 points and 20 rebounds. Jacob Apjok also had a double-double with 19 points and 12 boards, and Joe Shank contributed 11 points, eight assists and seven steals.
Noah Meckley missed the game due to illness.
Calvary Baptist (10-2) travels to Clearfield Alliance Christian School on Monday.