McCort what doctor ordered for Lady Lions

The Altoona girls basketball team had little time to dwell on Thursday’s loss to Hollidaysburg. The Lady Lions were right back on the court 24 hours later looking for their 10th win of the season.

They got it with a 74-32 win over Bishop McCort Friday at the AAHS Fieldhouse.

Altoona blew the game open early with a 16-0 run over a seven-minute stretch from the middle of the first quarter into the second.

“It’s really good to get that 10th win,” Altoona coach Jill Helsel said. “This was the best-case scenario, getting right back on the court and fixing the things we need to fix.”

Bishop McCort had no answer for Altoona’s inside tandem of Darby Lee and Kayla Grimme. Lee scored a game-high 17 points, and Grimme had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-1 senior also blocked six shots after blocking eight against Hollidaysburg.

“She has a knack for it,” Helsel said of Grimme’s shot-blocking. “She has good court sense, keeps her hands up and gets to the ball. What she’s been doing a better job of lately is blocking the shot and possessing the ball.”

Through the early part of the game, guards Kaycie Reffner and McKenzie Hatch got the ball inside to Lee and Grimme, starting with the opening tip when Reffner grabbed the ball and found Grimme streaking to the basket for a quick two points.

Hatch then assisted on back-to-back hoops by Lee and Grimme, respectively, for a 6-0 lead.

Bishop McCort pulled to within 10-7 midway through the opening quarter before Altoona scored the final nine points of the period to open up a 19-7 lead.

The Lady Lions’ surge continued in the second quarter with the first six points of the frame. Hatch scored on the fast break, Lee added a lay-in, and Reffner drained a 3-pointer from the left corner.

Lee closed out the first half with five straight points to give Altoona a 32-11 lead at the break.

“The biggest thing was our great man-to-man defense,” Helsel said. “We did some stuff we needed to do that we’ve been lacking. Our press was good, and our rotation was good. With the schedule we play, tough teams just keep coming at you. Every game we want to get better at something and hopefully be prepared for the playoffs.”

Lacey Krouse led Bishop McCort with nine points. Altoona held Lady Crushers leading scorer Mackenzie Barbin to just four points, all of which came from the free throw line.

“We play these kinds of teams to get better,” McCort coach John Hahn said. “We need to play more like they play. Altoona has a nice team. This wasn’t our best showing, but hopefully, it’ll be a good learning experience.”

After making just 2-of-12 3-point shots in the first half, Altoona got hot from the behind the arc and really blew the game open.

Hatch and Lauren Donley drained back-to-back 3s, and Donley hit another two possessions later to help give the Lady Lions a 53-17 lead at the end of three quarters.

Altoona sank nine 3-pointers in all. Natalie Knab scored eight points off the bench late in the game, and Taylor Campbell added six more.

BISHOP MCCORT (32): Hrbal 1 0-0 2, Krouse 1 7-8 9, Barbin 0 4-6 4, Daley 1 0-0 2, Wilson 2 0-1 4, Rhine 1 0-0 3, Burkhart 1 0-0 2, McGrath 0 0-2 0, McIntosh 0 0-0 0, Miller 1 0-0 2, Tomkowski 2 0-0 4, Lyons 0 0-0 0, Shaffer 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 11-17 32.

ALTOONA (74): Hatch 2 0-0 5, Reffner 3 0-0 8, Donley 2 0-0 6, Lee 6 5-6 17, Grimme 7 0-0 14, Knab 3 0-0 8, Feathers 1 0-2 2, Dibert 0 0-0 0, Davis 1 1-2 4, Muffie 0 0-0 0, Caracciolo 0 0-0 0, Menegay 2 0-0 4, Mayhue 0 0-0 0, Campbell 2 1-2 6. Totals 29 7-12 74.

Score by quarters

Bishop McCort7 4 6 15 – 32

Altoona19 13 21 21 – 74

3-point goals: Bishop McCort 1 (Rhine); Altoona 9 (Reffner 2, Donley 2, Knab 2, Hatch, Davis, Campbell)

Records: Bishop McCort (10-8); Altoona (10-6).

JV: 51-27, Altoona. High scorers McIntosh, Shaffer 7 (BM); Menegay 12 (A).