GIRLS HOOPS: To the wire
Warren and McDowell traded the lead back and forth eight times during a furious second half Saturday at Warren Area High School.
However, when the dust settled in Saturday’s contest, the Lady Trojans had handed the Lady Dragons their first loss of the season by a 49-44 count.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Warren coach Lisa Ruhlman. “This was our first real challenge and we weren’t ready. They gave us plenty of opportunities and we just didn’t execute.”
It looked as if Warren was going to be able to capitalize late in the game, courtesy of a 10-0 run from recent 1,000-point scoring senior Jaimie Eaton.
Trailing 40-32 with just over six minutes remaining, Eaton brought the Dragons back within striking distance, nailing a 3-pointer while drawing a foul for a four-point play. The senior followed that up with a three-point play, a pair of free throws and the front end of a 1-and-1 to give Warren a 42-40 lead late in the fourth quarter.
From there, the Warren shooters went cold and McDowell capitalized by scoring nine unanswered points. Included in that run was McDowell’s Melissa Molnar’s 4-for-4 effort from the line in the final 60 seconds.
Eaton scored all 12 of Warren’s fourth quarter points, finishing with a game-high 17. Taylor Mineweaser was close behind with 12 points and Paige Wilson added seven markers for the Dragons (7-1).
Warren will look to bounce back on Tuesday, when it hosts Fort LeBoeuf in its region opener.
McDowell topped Warren in the junior varsity game, 45-19. Amy Castagnino was the top scorer for the Dragons with six points.
Cochranton 55, Eisenhower 27
Eisenhower was unable to find any kind of offensive consistency – or a way to slow down Cochranton’s attack – in the second quarter of a 55-27 loss to the Cardinals Saturday at Eisenhower High School.
The Cardinals used a major size advantage in the paint to secure numerous offensive rebounds which were then converted to easy putbacks as the visitors built a big first-half lead.
The Lady Knights kept the game close through the first quarter, trailing just 16-10 after the buzzer sounded. However, the Cardinals stepped up in the second, outscoring Eisenhower 19-3 to take a commanding 35-13 lead into the locker room.
Both teams struggled to find their offensive touch in the third quarter, but the Cardinals came out strong again in the fourth, adding 15 more points to finish with 55 for the night.
Alyssa Peterson led the way for Eisenhower, scoring 12 points. Holly Chapman added eight points and six rebounds.
Eisenhower head coach Mike Logue also praised the defensive play of Halie VanOrd who, after getting into foul trouble in the first half, held Cochranton’s leading scorer Madison Bernarding scoreless in the second half. VanOrd finished with two points, five rebounds and four assists.
“(Cochranton) has been strong all year in the second quarter,” Logue said. “Looking back at their games, they’ve caught almost every opponent with a blitz in the second quarter and I think we panicked and started to throw the ball around.”
Ike’s junior varsity team also fell, 30-24. Taylor Haner scored five points while Meghan Hagberg added four of her own. Nine different Lady Knights scored in the contest.
Eisenhower (3-4) will return to action Tuesday, visiting county foe Youngsville.
Cambridge Springs 48, Youngsville 27
CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS – Youngsville dropped to 1-7 on the season with a 48-27 loss to Cambridge Springs Saturday at Cambridge Springs High School.
No other details, including a box score, were provided to the Times Observer.
The Lady Eagles will continue their search for their second win of the season Tuesday when they host Eisenhower (3-4) in a county rivalry showdown.