Hershberger recovers to lead NBC by Tussey

LOYSBURG – Leah Hershberger appeared to be done for the day early in the first quarter after becoming ill.

“We took that timeout and I got calmed down,” she said of her quick recovery.

After being able to settle down, she was off to the races, and had a lot of company too.

The Northern Bedford senior led all scorers with 21 points as the Lady Panthers (6-3, 6-1 ICC South) knocked off rival Tussey Mountain (5-3, 2-2 ICC South), 67-49, in an ICC South Division showdown.

Northern Bedford coach Todd Eckenroad was surprised she felt sick, and gave her and the rest of the team credit for adjusting.

“I didn’t realize Leah was that sick whenever she came over [to the bench],” he said. “The kids had the desire and the heart tonight. They really wanted to come out hard and play well.”

Early on, the game was on its way to being a seesaw battle.

Breana Kendrick sunk three three-pointers for nine of her team high 16 points to give the Lady Titans the early 15-13 advantage.

The Lady Panther defense stole part of the show as Cierra Cottle managed to block two shots in less than 25 seconds. Hershberger added a block of her own at the buzzer.

Cottle chipped in 19 points for Northern Bedford, which had two additional starters in double figures. Once the second quarter started, the Lady Panthers offense took over.

Northern Bedford started off an early 11-3 run, which included two three pointers by Hershberger, and the team managed to outscore the Lady Titans, 19-9, in the quarter and took a 32-24 lead at the half.

“Our defense was very poor tonight,” Tussey Mountain coach Todd Gates said. “As well as we played defense in the Christmas tournament, this is about the opposite.”

Tussey Mountain’s offensive struggles picked up in the second quarter as Brianna Beach registered three blocks for the Panthers. She finished with 10 points and went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

“We played really well together tonight,” Hershberger said. “We just came together as a team.”

Once the fourth quarter started, there was no turning back for Northern Bedford.

With just under 5 minutes to play, senior Alyssa Smith drew a foul, which gave the Lady Panthers three free-throw attempts and nailed all three to put the game away and finished with 11 points. She went 7-for-7, scoring all in the final quarter.

Eckenroad while pleased with the result, but didn’t underestimate what the Lady Titans can still do.

“They’re a young team, but they’re right there,” he said. “And they’re playing really hard.”

Gates, while was disappointed with how his team played, didn’t take anything from Northern Bedford.

“We were a step slow and not where we needed to be,” he said. [Northern Bedford] played well.”

Notes: Northern Bedford converted 88 percent of its free-throws going 15-for-17 on the night compared to 8-for-17 for the Lady Titans. Tussey had one additional scorer with double-digits as Olivia Claycomb scored 12 and went 4-for-6 from the line. The Lady Panthers will be back in action on Monday at Southern Huntingdon while Tussey Mountain will head to Southern Huntingdon on Wednesday.

TUSSEY MOUNTAIN (49): Lynn 4 0-2 8, Kendrick 5 2-7 16, Coffman 1 2-2 4, Reed 4 0-0 9, Claycomb 4 4-6 12, Watkins 0 0-0 0, Rupert 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-17 49.

NORTHERN BEDFORD (67): Cottle 7 3-4 19, Drenning 2 0-0 4, Hershberger 7 1-2 21, Smith 2 7-7 11, Beach 3 4-4 10, Gochnour 1 0-0 2, Clark 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 15-17 67.


Tussey Mountain15 9 17 8 – 49

Northern Bedford13 19 18 17 – 67

3-point field goals: Tussey Mountain 5 (Kendrick 4, Reed); Northern Bedford 6 (Hershberger 4, Cottle 2)

Records: Tussey Mountain (5-3, 2-2 ICC South); Northern Bedford (6-3, 6-1 ICC South)

JV: Tussey Mountain 31-17. High scorers Amanda Stoudnour, Morgan Brumbaugh, TM, 8; Breanna Leidy, NB, 7