Raybuck sparks MCA
CATAWISSA R.R. - If there was one big difference between Mount Carmel and Southern Columbia Saturday, it was probably the play of the Red Tornadoes' Ana Raybuck.
Raybuck scored some big points, but more important, she controlled the boards to lead Mount Carmel to a 52-44 Heartland Conference Division II win over the Tigers, avenging their only division loss. Raybuck had 13 points and 14 rebounds, added a couple of assists and steals and blocked a shot, and the Tornadoes (14-3, 9-1) pulled away from a 31-31 tie after three quarters by hitting 15 of 21 foul shots in the fourth.
Southern (14-5, 7-4) beat Mount Carmel by five points on the Red Tornadoes' floor last month, and played well enough to win this game in most respects, but had a poor shooting night (15 of 44) and the Tigers committed 27 turnovers.
Mount Carmel scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, and the Tigers could never get closer than within three points the rest of the way.
"In the last game, we got out-rebounded," said Raybuck. "We did a better job this time. Mentally, we weren't prepared for the first game. Today we just came out and were quicker to the basket. I think it was my best game."
Mount Carmel coach Lisa Varano said a key to the game was keeping the Tigers' Kayla LaVella in check. LaVella
had a fine game, leading all scorers with 18 points, and with nine rebounds. But she took just seven shots, making six, almost all from inside.
"We changed up some things on defense," Varano said. "She's a great player and we didn't want her to get hot and start lighting it up on us. That was the big difference, plus the rebounding. We never let her get any shots from outside."
Southern coach Kevin Collins wasn't upset with his team's effort.
"I'm still really pleased with how we played defense. We pressured them and made them gamble. But when you play a team like this you have to block out and rebound, and we didn't do that tonight," Collins said. "We did a better job in the second half. We didn't make our free throws either, and they made theirs."
Christina Perles paced the Red Tornadoes offense with 17 points. She made 9 of 12 foul shots and was particularly effective in the fourth quarter. Ali Varano added 14 points with five rebounds and seven steals.
LaVella was the only Tiger player to score in double figures. Kirsten Blass added nine points and seven rebounds, and Mackenzie Clark, despite a tough 1-for-11 shooting night, had six assists and seven steals.
Both coaches said the rest of the division race will be tough.
"This was a huge win for us, beating a team we lost to," Varano said. "But Division II is tough and we have some tough games up ahead."
"This probably cost us a chance at the HAC," Collins said, "but I think we'll be alright coming off it. We've been playing better the past four or five games and I think we can pull together. There are four or five teams in the division who are all going to be in the (district) playoffs and we're all going to be seeing each other. We have Montoursville, Central and Lewisburg coming up, and we lost two of those three the first time, so we'd better be ready."
MOUNT CARMEL (52) - Bolick 0 1-2 1, Hornung 0 0-0 0, Varano 4 6-8 14, Perles 4 9-12 17, Stellar 3 1-2 7, Raybuck 4 4-5 13, Parker 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 22-29 52.
SOUTHERN COLUMBIA (44) - LaVella 6 6-7 18, Tomaschik 1 1-4 3, Blass 4 0-0 9, Levan 1 2-2 5, Clark 1 2-5 4, Lyash 2 0-1 5, Gilroy 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 11-19 44.
3-point FGs: Mount Carmel (1) - Raybuck; Southern (3) - Blass, Levan, Lyash.