Shamokin girls stun Lourdes
COAL TOWNSHIP - Shamokin saved its season Saturday.
That's not an overstatement, either.
With the prospect of dropping to 3-7 overall with a loss to rival Lourdes, the Indians avenged a disappointing loss in last week's Knight of Columbus consolation game to the same Red Raiders with a 58-54 win at home.
The Indians got the exact play out of their front court that they've needed all season. Olivia Bonshock and Catie Pancher each scored career-highs in points for Shamokin with 25 and 16, respectively.
"This was, to me, our season. This was a big game. Moving on from 3-7 would be tough. We just have to focus one minute at a time," Shamokin Area head coach Bill Callahan said.
"I challenged the girls before the game to play with pride and they did. I'm very proud of everyone who played tonight."
Despite last week's 24-point loss and a week of three lost practices because of weather, Shamokin came right out and stunned Lourdes by taking a 7-0 lead.
Pancher scored five of those points, but Lourdes cut an eight-point deficit midway through the quarter to two by the end of it.
Carmella Bickel hit the first of her three 3-pointers to start Lourdes' scoring and added five more points in the quarter.
Lourdes scored the first seven points of the second quarter and built a 28-21 lead before Shamokin cut it to three after a Bonshock putback on a missed foul shot.
Bonshock and Pancher really took over in the third quarter, scoring all put two of the Indians' points, although that one basket was huge. With the quarter set to expire, Gabby Lahr got a putback through the cylinder just in time to tie the game at 39.
"They played really well. That was our plan even last week to go inside, but Lourdes shot the ball very well last week," Callahan said. "We made some adjustments."
Bailey Trell made three-straight 3-pointers to keep the Red Raiders in the game in the third, but the Lourdes' post players - Caity Funk and Gabby Long - couldn't keep Shamokin off the boards.
Funk and Long did combine for 20 points of offense, however.
Most impressive was Shamokin's resilience in the last half of the fourth quarter.
Shaylee Pesarchick scored all five of her points for Shamokin in the fourth quarter, while the Indians continued to outrebound the Red Raiders and make foul shots.
With the lead see-sawing back and forth, Pancher put the Indians up for good on a putback and Shamokin forced Lourdes to turn the ball over on two of its last three possessions.
"This is the first time all year we've competed for 32 minutes and that's a bright sign," Callahan said.
The Indians can climb to .500 with wins over Jersey Shore and Midd-West this week.
Meanwhile, it's not like the Red Raiders couldn't have used the game as well. They drop to 4-5 overall and are in danger of not even getting a chance to defend their District 4 Class A title.
LOURDES (54) - Long 5 0-0 10, Komara 0 0-0 0, Wheary 0 0-0 0, Trell 5 0-0 15, Bickel 5 0-0 13, Schultz 3 0-0 6, Funk 3 4-5 10, Pennypacker 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 4-5 54.
SHAMOKIN (58) - Popewczak 1 0-1 3, Erb 0 1-2 1, Pancher 6 3-5 16, Bonshock 9 7-9 25, Pesarchick 2 0-0 5, Lahr 2 1-2 5, Zimmerman 1 0-0 3. Totals 21 12-19 58.
3-point FGs: Trell 5, Bickel 3, Popewczak, Pancher, Zimmerman