HOLLIDAYSBURG - It was all about the seniors on the Hollidaysburg High School girls basketball team during senior night.
The senior class of Alexia Servello, Amy Tomassetti, Michele Muir, Susie Ellis, Hannah Mercer and Morgan Griffith combined for 55 points and went out on a winning note by defeating Central, 76-35, Wednesday night at the Hollidaysburg High School gymnasium.
"It was a special night for our seniors," Hollidaysburg coach Deanna Jubeck said. "They did a great job of teaching the younger kids what focus and hard work really mean."
The Lady Tigers took advantage of a Central team that was playing its third game in as many days and pounced all over the Dragons from the opening tip until the final buzzer. They used 10 Central turnovers to outscore Central, 26-11, after just one quarter of play. It was Mercer who was responsible for most of the damage done, scoring nine of her 13 points in that frame.
"We were gassed," Central coach Shelley McCune said. "We were playing our third game in three days. The kids came out and played hard to the end, but it wasn't an easy situation for us."
Junior Courteney Storm scored the first six points of the second quarter before any Dragon even scored. Mikaela McGraw finally scored on a jumper with 6:00 remaining in the second. Ellis then scored the next four points before Muir made a behind-the-back drive en route to the layup. After a 5-0 run by the Dragons to bring them within 20, Alexis Palfey connected from long distance and Emily Haupt to make it a 43-18 lead at the half.
The Lady Tigers began to pull away even further in the third quarter, beginning it with a 23-2 run, with Griffith scoring six points, and both Muir and Ellis adding five apiece. The run finally ended when Rachel Brumbaugh made two from the charity stripe. Those foul shots made it a 44-point Central deficit through three quarters. The Lady Tigers outscored the Dragons, 13-10, in the fourth. Jubeck brought her starting group of seniors back into the game with 1:06 left and they all had smiles on their faces while they ran out the remaining time.
Even in a losing effort, McCune was impressed with Hollidaysburg's seniors.
"They're a really solid group," McCune said. "They were having fun, and that's what it's all about."
For a second straight game, the Lady Tigers had a balanced scoring column, with Mercer leading the way with 13 points, while Ellis added 11. Griffith, Storm and Muir each scored an 10.
Hollidaysburg improved to 20-2 and will compete in the District 6-AAAA playoffs against a team yet to be determined.
Central, which will not participate in the District 6-AA postseason, wrapped up its season at 9-13. Lewis, who was the only Dragon scoring in double digits, finished the game with 11 points.
CENTRAL (35): Garner 0 0-0 0, Lewis 5 0-0 11, McGraw 3 0-0 6, Ritchey 1 0-0 2, McKnight 2 0-0 6, Brumbaugh 0 2-2 2, Boyles 2 0-0 4, Myers 0 4-6 4. Totals 13 6-8 35.
HOLLIDAYSBURG (76): Griffith 5 0-0 10, McClain 1 1-2 4, Haupt 0 2-2 2, S. Ellis 5 0-0 11, Muir 5 0-0 10, Hurliman 1 0-0 2, Stitt 0 0-0 0, Palfey 1 0-0 3, Tomassetti 2 0-0 5, C. Ellis 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0-0 0, Servello 3 0-0 6, Storm 5 0-0 10, Mercer 6 1-1 13.Totals 34 4-5 76.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Central11 7 4 13 - 35
Hollidaysburg26 17 23 10 - 76
3-point field goals: Central 3 (Lewis, McKnight 2). Hollidayburg 4 (McClain, S. Ellis, Palfey, Tomassetti).
Records: Central (9-13); Hollidaysburg (20-2).
JV: No game.