Eagles fall in final
MANDATA - Line Mountain jumped out to a 7-2 lead to start its own tip off tournament championship game with Penns Valley.
Then the Rams woke up, realized they had a height advantage and used it to beat the Eagles 40-25.
The Eagles had as many total rebounds as the Rams had offensive rebounds and had no answer for Penns Valley center Kelsey Boone, who had nine points and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
"The rebounding was a big thing and at clutch times they came through," Line Mountain head coach Mike Reed said.
Line Mountain's pressure defense forced seven turnovers in the first quarter and the Eagles were able to pick up fouls while driving to the basket.
Colleen Troutman and Sarah Lahr, both first-year starters, scored those first seven points for the Eagles, but Line Mountain scored just five more points in the last 13 minutes of the first half.
"We couldn't score," Reed said. "Friday night we scored 60 and today we had trouble putting anything in."
Add to that a minor injury that forced senior Jade London to the bench right next to fellow senior Madison Lagerman, who was seated for foul trouble, and it spelled trouble for the Eagles.
"It hurt to have Madison in foul trouble in the second quarter," Reed said. "She rebounds well for us and she's one of the people that can step up and score for us."
Lahr led the team with nine points, and Madeline Reed added seven.
"Right now we're kind of looking for somebody to say, 'Get on my back and I'll take over,'" Mike Reed said. "But we're trying and that's the good part. If you have five people afraid to make it happen, that's no good. We're trying."
But try as they might, the Eagles couldn't make up for the height difference the Rams had.
Penns Valley scored 12 points on putbacks and just the presence of Boone swinging to the high post opened up things underneath for her teammates.
Cheyenne Swartz took advantage and led the Rams with 14 points, while a total of eight Penns Valley players scored.
As desperate as the game seemed for the Eagles, they were within seven points in the fourth quarter.
"We held them to 40, which was one of our goals," Reed said. "Turnovers killed us, too."
Line Mountain won't have long to sulk, the Eagles start playing Tri-Valley League games this coming week with a title to defend.
PENNS VALLEY (40) - Rupka 1 0-0 2, Struble 3 1-2 7, Swartz 5 4-4 14, Kocher 1 0-0 2, M. Ironside 0 0-0 0, Emel 2 0-0 4, Boone 4 1-2 9, C. Ironside 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 6-8 40.
LINE MOUNTAIN (25) - Wolfe 0 0-0 0, Scott 0 1-2 1, London 0 0-0 0, Lahr 2 4-6 9, Lagerman 1 1-4 4, Reed 3 0-0 7, Wilkinson 0 0-0 0, Zimmerman 0 0-0 0, Troutman 1 2-5 4. Totals 7 8-17 25.
3-point FGs: Line Mountain - Lahr, Lagerman, Reed.