Altoona turns things around on Lady ’Cats

Altoona Area High School’s girls basketball team did something it is not accustomed to doing by going winless at 0-3 to start the 2013-2014 campaign.

On Tuesday night at Altoona, it took it’s early season frustrations out on Central Mountain, 81-19, at the Altoona Area Fieldhouse.

“It feels really good,” Lady Lions coach Jill Helsel said. “It was good to see everyone play and score tonight.”

The only quarter that the Lady Wildcats even played anything remotely close to competitive basketball was in the first quarter, in which the Wildcats scored nine of their 19 points. It was the only quarter in which the starters played, and senior Darby Lee scored all 10 of her points in that one frame alone. Lee tied for the team-high in points with a pair of freshman, Paige Whitfield and Alayna Biesecker.

After that one quarter of play in which Central Mountain battled a bit with the Lady Lions, it only scored 10 more the remainder of the game. Altoona outscored the Wildcats, 18-4, in the second quarter, to give the Lady Lions a 46-13 lead going into the half.

Altoona came out of the lockerroom in the third quarter looking even more impressive. It began the second half by outscoring the visitors, 16-0, before the Wildcats scored a point. The bucket was made by sophomore Mary Monoski with 2:45 left in the frame. The main cog in the huge run was Biesecker, who netted six of them.

Altoona had its lowest scoring quarter of the game in the fourth quarter with 14, but was just as impressive on the defensive end, allowing just three.

“Our first team came in tonight and played for just a quarter,” Helsel said. “We got a lot of kids good experience, because these kids will need to play in key games down the road. They showed me a lot of good things tonight.”

The Lady Lions, who raised their record to 1-3, are back in action Saturday hosting Cumberland Valley, a team that won the PIAA Class AAAA championship last year.

Central Mountain coach Lindsey Rogers, said her team failed to match Altoona’s intensity.

“I talked to the team after the game and said we didn’t match Altoona’s intensity,” Rogers said. “But Altoona’s a well-disciplined, well-coached team. We can learn something playing team’s like Altoona.”

CENTRAL MOUNTAIN (19): Monoski 5 2-7 12, Strouse 1 0-0 3, McCaleb 0 2-2 2, McCloy 1 0-2 2, Parks 0 0-0 0, Augenbaugh 0 0-0 0, Kitner 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 4-11 19 .

ALTOONA (81): Caracciolo 2 2-2 7, Hatch 3 1-2 7, Mayhue 2 2-4 6, Davis 4 0-0 8, Dibert 2 0-0 4, Knab 0 1-2 1, Donley 1 1-2 3, Darby Lee 5 0-0 10, Darcy Lee 1 0-0 2, Muffie 2 0-4 4, Biesecker 5 0-0 10, Newberry 2 0-0 4, Whitfield 4 0-0 10, Shetrom 2 1-2 5. Totals 35 8-16 81.


Central Mountain 9 4 3 3 – 19

Altoona Area24 18 25 14 – 81

3-point field goals Central Mountain 1 (Strouse); Altoona Area 3 (Caraccciolo, Whitfield 2).

Records: Central Mountain (0-4). Altoona Area (1-3).

JV: Altoona won 61-5. High scorers Pringle, CM, 3. Stouffer, A, 15.