Fox’s big game lifts Altoona to win

Looking to bounce back from losses in two of its last three games, Altoona started its game against State College like a team on a mission.

The Lady Lions wavered at times after that before finishing up strong for a 48-38 win Monday at the AAHS Fieldhouse.

Bridgid Fox scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the 16-3 Lady Lions.

The versatile forward scored five buckets in the paint, knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line.

“She’s a tough kid, and a hard player to defend in the paint that’s for sure,” Altoona coach Miriam Colledge said. “She’s working hard at her game, and her teammates give her the chance to show all facets of her game, getting her the ball outside for the open look and getting her the ball in the paint.”

In its first game since Jan. 27th, Altoona showed no rust, racing to a 13-0 lead in the opening 4:12 of the game.

Fox and Olivia Hudson opened the scoring with back-to-back layups, and Shaina Lear scored on the fast break off a State College turnover.

Kayley Burke continued the hot start with a 3 from the corner off a crosscourt pass from Lear, and Fox capped the run with four straight points on a lay in and two foul shots.

Altoona’s offense stalled after that, however.

State College (11-10) outscored the Lady Lions 17-8 the rest of the half to make it a four-point game at halftime.

“Obviously, we got off to a very slow start, but then I thought we played well on the defensive end in the second quarter,” SC coach Chris Leazier said. “Their fastbreak was a function of us not moving the ball the way we typically do. Altoona’s a very athletic team. If they get out on the break, it’s tough to stop them.”

The Altoona offense got rolling again early in the second half, starting with Jess Stevens’ 3-pointer on the opening possession of the third quarter.

Fox and Lear followed with quick buckets to put the Lions ahead 28-20, and the Lady Lions maintained an eight-point edge throughout the remainder of the third quarter.

Altoona put the game away with a 12-3 run early in the final quarter.

Fox keyed the run with a layup off an assist from Elizah Wilson, a three-point play driving to the basket and two foul shots.

Lear added another bucket driving to the basket before Steven’s second 3-pointer of the game put the Lady Lions up 46-31 with 3:35 left.

“We felt pretty decent being down four at the half because we’d gotten off to such a slow start,” Leazier said. “We just traded baskets early in the second half, and they kind of ran away from us after that.”

Hudson scored 11 points and pulled in 8 rebounds for the Lady Lions. Maya Bokunewicz led State College with 18 points.

Altoona made five 3-pointers despite playing without its top shooter behind the arc. Sophomore Caranda Perea missed the game with an undisclosed injury. How long she’ll be out is unknown at this point, Colledge said.

“She’ll be reevaluated week-to-week, and we’ll take it from there. It’s an injury we’re dealing with,” Colledge said. “It’s that time of year. It happens to a lot of teams. It’s pretty typical. You’ve got flu season, and the injuries start to mount. Adversity is part of athletics. You can’t let that play into what you do. You just continue to fight the fight.”

STATE COLLEGE (38): Bokunewicz 6 6-6 18, Leazier 0 1-2 1, Lingenfelter 1 0-0 2, Love 2 0-0 6, Czekaj 0 0-0 0, Delanuez 0 0-0 0, Risha 3 0-1 8, Hall 1 0-0 3, Brannon 0 0-0 0, Orndorff 0 0-0 0. Totals — 13 7-9 38.

ALTOONA (48): Lear 3 0-0 6, Stevens 2 0-0 6, Hudson 4 3-3 11, Burke 2 0-0 5, Fox 7 4-4 20, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Cherry 0 0-0 0, Webber 0 0-0 0, Rupert 0 0-0 0, Corbin 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 7-7 48.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

State College 5 12 9 12 — 38

Altoona 15 6 13 14 — 48

3-point goals: State College 5 (Love 2, Risha 2, Hall); Altoona 5 (Stevens 2, Burke, Fox 2).

Records: State College (11-10); Altoona (16-3).

Officials: Frank Garritano, Chris Garritano, Chuck Glasser.

JV: Altoona, 28-19. High scorers–Leib 10 (SC); Webber (A) 11.

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