MOUNT CARMEL - Mount Carmel kept up its bargain to make the next week and a half a battle royale for the HAC-II crown.

The Red Tornadoes (13-3, 8-1) easily dispatched Loyalsock Tuesday, 65-34, at home to maintain a two-way tie with Montoursville (13-3, 7-1) atop the standings of the division. Not far from the Tornadoes and Warriors is Southern Columbia, 6-2 in the division.

It all sets up an interesting 10-day span for the two-time defending division and district champion Tornadoes.

Mount Carmel has a rivalry showdown with Southern Columbia, Saturday at 6 p.m. Then plays host to Warrior Run Tuesday and Montoursville Friday.

By the end of the next week and a half, Mount Carmel

could be back on top or looking for help to earn its Heartland threepeat.

"Every game is a big game at this point in the season," Mount Carmel head coach Lisa Varano said. "All the teams are playing well.

"Any night anyone can win. It's not going to be easy but it makes it a lot of fun."

Mount Carmel's fun Tuesday centered around its ability to score from anywhere on the floor.

With Loyalsock packed into the paint in a zone defensively, Paige Hornung and Isabella Stellar made the Lancers pay.

After Ali Varano scored the game's first bucket on a putback, Hornung hit back to back 3-pointers and Stellar added another on the very next possession as the Tornadoes jumped out to an 11-2 lead.

Loyalsock closed the Tornadoes' lead to 14-11 with a minute left in the first quarter, but over the next nine minutes Mount Carmel limited Loyalsock to just one field goal while scoring 19.

The Tornadoes ended the half with three-straight 3s by Jen Bolick, Hornung and Stellar.

"I saw some nice things tonight," Lisa Varano said. "They sat in a zone and we hit some outside shots to open it up and that's what we want."

The sharpshooting opened up the inside for Christina Perles and Anna Raybuck in the second half.

Perles scored eight of her 11 in the third quarter and Raybuck added eight in the second half.

Ali Varano, who scored the first Tornado points in all four quarters, led the team with 17, while Raybuck finished 14 and Hornung wound up with nine.

It's the kind of diversified scoring the Tornadoes are going to need to get through the next week and a half.

Game Summary

LOYALSOCK (34) - Daskivich 0 2-2 2, A. Pagana 2 1-4 5, Burdett 1 0-0 2, Fox 2 0-0 4, McKernan 3 1-2 8, S. Pagana 2 0-0 4, Salvatori 2 0-2 4, Sullivan 0 0-0 0, Ginoble 0 0-0 0, Cordilla 2 1-2 5. Totals 14 5-12 34.

MOUNT CARMEL (65) - Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Bolick 1 0-0 3, Hornung 3 0-0 9, Winhofer 0 0-0 0, Varano 5 7-12 17, Perles 3 5-7 11, Hood 1 0-0 2, Stellar 3 1-2 9, Raybuck 7 0-0 14, Parker 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 13-21 65.

3-point FGs: Bolick, Hornung 3, Stellar 2.