Hollidaysburg’s Bella Vent is fouled by Oakland Catholic’s London Creach.
By John Hartsock
KITTANNING — Losses do not come any a lot far more brutal than the 1 that the Hollidaysburg Lady Golden Tigers basketball group endured Wednesday evening.
Hollidaysburg showed grit, guts and gumption to spot collectively a ten-point run and wipe out a 38-29 deficit at the three-quarter pole against Oakland Catholic in their PIAA Class 5A second-round playoff game at the Armstrong Junior-Senior Larger College gymnasium.
Hollidaysburg, which entered the game with a superb 25- record and quantity 1 state ranking in its classification, grabbed a 47-46 lead on a pair of foul shots by senior guard Sydney Lear with 13 secconds left.
Just right after an errant Oakland Catholic inbounds pass in the final seconds, Hollidaysburg regained possession and appeared to have the game won, but Oakland Catholic lightning-fast senior guard Alexa Washington had other recommendations.
The Division I North Florida commit sped in front of a Hollidaysburg inbounds pass, created the interception, and drove to the basket for a game-winning layup with just four seconds displaying on the clock, lifting the Lady Eagles to a beautiful 48-47 victory.
“We lost in the second round of the state playoffs final year, and it was in my thoughts that I didn’t want it to go by way of that after once again,” Washington talked about. “They (Hollidaysburg) had been stacked up, I was guarding two players, and I felt like a DB (defensive back) out there.
“Once I got the ball, there was only 1 point to do — finish the layup,” Washington added.
Oakland Catholic, the WPIAL runner-up, enhanced to 24-4 and will play McKeesport in a quarterfinal game Saturday at a net website and time to be determined. McKeesport sophisticated with a 63-25 second-round win far more than Penn-Trafford Wednesday.
“It was a great finish,” Oakland Catholic coach Eddie Benton, Jr. talked about. “It was a game of runs — that is playoff basketball. We lucked up at the finish.
“Hollidaysburg is a fairly scrappy group and they’re fairly adequately-coached,” Benton added. “We decided to spot on a press, we got a fortunate steal, and Lexi (Washington) spot it in for us.”
The beautiful set of events broke the hearts of a Hollidaysburg coaching staff and its players that deserved a superior fate.
“This group has a lot of fight,” talked about visibly emotional Hollidaysburg coach Deanna Jubeck, who has directed the Lady Tigers to a 51-3 cumulative record far more than the preceding two seasons. “They have all year, due to the reality practice started in November.
“That’s just the variety of grit that this group of small ones has shown,” Jubeck added. “Any time that we’ve faced adversity, this group has rallied, and gone on a run.”
It occurred after once again Wednesday, as Hollidaysburg reeled off ten straight points to start off off the fourth quarter and convert the 38-29 deficit into a 39-38 advantage with 3:56 left.
Just right after senior center Alison Hatijak started the surge with a totally cost-free throw, Lear hit a medium-selection jumper and followed with a 3-pointer from the major of the circle to draw Hollidaysburg to inside three points, 38-35.
Lear followed with a pair of totally cost-free throws prior to freshman McKenna Weimert hit a baseline jumper to give the Lady Tigers the 39-38 lead.
“We knew that we had to pick out things up on the defensive finish, and we changed matchups and we had been in a position to press up a tiny bit on their guards a tiny bit,” Jubeck talked about.
The lead went back and forth in the final four minutes. Just right after sophomore Bella Vent connected on a jumper from the appropriate corner to spot Hollidaysburg ahead, 41-38, Washington hit a pair of totally cost-free throws and a layup to regain the lead for Oakland Catholic, 42-41.
Lear’s totally cost-free throw tied the game for Hollidaysburg, but Washington hit two totally cost-free throws to spot Oakland Catholic back in front, 44-42.
Vent converted a classic 3-point play, scoring a layup off a feed from sophomore Lauren Stevenson, drawing a foul, and hitting a totally cost-free throw to spot the Lady Tigers up, 45-44 with 26 seconds left.
Senior forward Jill Gallo’s speedy-break layup spot Oakland Catholic back in front, 46-45, prior to Lear’s two totally cost-free throws gave Hollidaysburg its final lead of the game, 47-46.
Lear led all scorers with 19 points, even though Vent added 11 and Hatijak pulled down a game-greater 11 rebounds for Hollidaysburg.
Sophomore guard London Creach scored 15 points and Washington added 14 for Oakland Catholic.
“I’m just genuine proud of all of us,” Lear, 1 of Hollidaysburg’s four seniors, talked about. “We played difficult for 32 minutes and fought back tonight.”
That is been Hollidaysburg’s modus operandi all season.
“All year lengthy, no one particular but our 18 players and five coaches believed in our group of small ones,” Jubeck talked about. “But our players, and our seniors particularly, spot their heart and soul into this and gave it something they had due to the reality November.”
HOLLIDAYSBURG (47): Lear 4 ten-11 19, Hatijak 1 two-six 5, Vent 5 1-1 11, Stitt – , Stevenson two – six, Weimert two – 4, Steiner – , DiPangrazio – , Shoemaker 1 – two. Totals – 15 13-18 47.
OAKLAND CATHOLIC (48): Hill – , Haver 3 1-two eight, Washington 5 4-4 14, Creach 4 5-5 15, Gallo two 1-two 5, Schorr two-two two, Hintemyer 1 – two, Fontana 1 – two. Totals -16 13-15 48.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Hollidaysburg 9 eight 12 18 — 47
Oakland Catholic 11 13 14 ten — 48
3-point objectives: Hollidaysburg 4 (Stevenson two, Hatijak, Lear): Oakland Catholic 3 (Creach two, Haver):
Records: Hollidaysburg (25-1) Oakland Catholic (24-4).
Officials: James Lambert, Tim Chapman, Karen Davis.
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