Lady Dragons put clamps on NB

LOYSBURG – On a night where both sides struggled from the field, the Central girls basketball team had to rely on defense to beat Northern Bedford.

The Lady Dragons (7-4) allowed just nine field goals as they defeated the Lady Panthers, 49-38, Friday night at Northern Bedford High School.

“Defensively we did pretty well,” Central coach Rob Mock said. “I knew we needed to keep (Sydney) Snyder under control.

“I told the girls if we can keep her to single digits tonight, we’ll give ourselves a good chance to win.”

Snyder, who has been one of Northern Bedford’s most potent shooters, was held to just eight points.

Both teams were in foul trouble for much of the first quarter, scoring mostly on free throws. Emma Eckenroad scored the first field goal with just less than 5 minutes to play in the first on a 3-pointer.

Michaela McGraw ended the quarter nailing a 3 of her own just before the buzzer, giving Central a 10-7 lead after one.

The Lady Dragon senior led all scorers with a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

In the second quarter, Lana Gochnour grabbed momentum for the Lady Panthers (9-4), scoring on a pair of 3s – one coming off the inbound pass to start the quarter – giving Northern Bedford a 20-19 halftime lead.

Central’s defense continued to cause trouble for Northern Bedford in the second half, holding the Lady Panthers to five field goals – three from Snyder.

“Second half, we just couldn’t put the ball in the net,” Northern Bedford coach Todd Eckenroad. “It’s difficult when you’re not making some shots.”

The Lady Panthers’ efforts against McGraw in the fourth opened the door for Hannah Johnston. She put the game away with a pair of jumpers and a 3-for-4 effort at the stripe.

“They were leaving me open because they were focusing on Michaela,” Johnston said.

Mock was pleased with the sophomore’s effort, as she scored 15 points.

“That’s the Hannah Johnston that I know,” he said. “I’m glad she came and stepped up.”

Eckenroad felt that Johnston, along with McGraw’s ability to get open, created trouble for his team.

“They just got some open looks, and we weren’t stopping their penetration,” he said. “They’re two tough kids.”

The Lady Dragons’ road trip continues on Tuesday as they head to Cambria Heights, while Northern Bedford will host Southern Fulton.

CENTRAL (49): McGraw 4 6-8 17, Snyder 2 2-2 6, Johnston 5 4-8 15, Brumbaugh 0 0-0 0, Long 2 3-9 8, Mock 1 0-0 2, Kensinger 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 1-2 1. Totals: 14 16-29 49.

NORTHERN BEDFORD (38): Drenning 1 8-14 10, Fink 1 0-0 2, Gochnour 2 1-2 7, Eckenroad 1 5-6 8, Snyder 3 1-2 8, Eshelman 1 1-2 3, Ebersole 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 16-26 38.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Central10 9 13 17 -49

Northern Bedford 7 13 10 8 – 38

3-point field goals: Central 5 (McGraw 3, Johnston, Long). Northern Bedford 4 (Gochnour 2, Eckenroad, Snyder).

Records: Central (7-4); Northern Bedford (9-4).

JV: Northern Bedford, 44-42. High scorers-Fernandes, C, 15; Foor, NB, 19.