Lady Tigers roll past DuBois

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Missing 17 straight 3-point shots to start a game won’t lead to many wins, but the Hollidaysburg girls basketball team more than made up for it with tenacious defense and points off turnovers.

The Lady Tigers broke open a low-scoring game with an 18-3 run to start the second half and went on to a 49-19 win over DuBois in the District 6-8-9 Class 5A semifinals Friday.

“Defense is where we hang our hats,” Hollidaysburg coach Deanna Jubeck said. “In playoff games, you tend to play a little tight, so you have to come out and play 32 minutes of hard, aggressive defense.”

DuBois’ Chelsea DeSalve got to the basket twice in the opening minutes to give the Lady Beavers a 4-0 lead, but DuBois scored just three points the rest of the first half.

Hollidayburg’s strong defense turned DuBois over 17 times in the first two quarters, and the Lady Tigers took a 14-7 lead to the locker room.

Morgan O’Neill made three steals off the bench in the second quarter that led to four points.

Her steal early in the quarter led to a Sierra McClain bucket on the fast break. She made another late in the half, was fouled going to the basket and made the two shots to put Hollidaysburg up by a touchdown and extra point at the break.

“She was truly our spark in the second quarter,” Jubeck said. “She took the game plan to heart. She crashed the boards like we haven’t had somebody do in months. She had some big steals and did it on her birthday. So happy birthday to Morgan.”

Hollidaysburg opened up a double-digit lead with an 8-0 spurt to start the third quarter.

“To be in the game like we were at halftime, we were very happy, but we told them we were going to have to take a punch in the mouth to start the third. We knew it was coming,” DuBois coach Keith Kriner said. “We just don’t have the type of experience to you need to handle the pressure they put on you.”

After Janessa Goins made two foul shots, Sierra McClain assisted on back-to-back layups, the first to Hannah Snyder on the break and the second to Goins cutting to the rim.

Snyder followed with two foul shots, extending the lead to 22-7, but the Lady Tigers still hadn’t made an outside shot.

“It was one of those things where you’re left scratching your head because these are shots we’ve made all year,” Jubeck said. “Once again, it’s a playoff atmosphere. You have to take that in stride and know that eventually they’re going to fall.”

Goins broke the drought with a 3-pointer from the right wing with 3:34 left in the third. Allison Hileman followed with another from the top of the key on the Lady Tigers’ next possession.

“That was a big sense of relief,” McClain said when the outside shots finally fell. “After that, we started to get into a little bit of a groove and get some confidence. Being the last home game for me and the other seniors in the playoffs and the big crowd had an effect on us. It’s hard to mentally prepare for that.”

After Hileman hit her second 3 in the fourth quarter, McClain got one late, giving the Lady Tigers four treys in the half.

Hileman and Snyder finished with 10 points each to lead the team. Goins scored nine points, and McClain added eight.

DeSalve led DuBois with 15 of the team’s 19 points.

“They play outstanding man defense. They’re quick. They’re physical. It’s not something we’re really used to,” Kriner said.

Hollidaysburg plays Obama Academy for the district championship 6 p.m. Monday at Penn State Altoona. Obama downed Portage Thursday in the other semifinal game.

Hollidaysburg defeated the Lady Eagles by 13 in early January.

DUBOIS (19): Guiher 0 3-4 3, M. Smith 0 0-0 0, DeSalve 6 2-3 15, Weibel 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, T. Smith 0 0-0 0, Henninger 0 0-0 0, Snyder 0 0-0 0, Geist-Salone 0 0-0 0, L. Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals — 6 6-9 19.

HOLLIDAYSBURG (49): Hileman 3 2-2 10, Goins 3 2-2 9, Bell 1 0-0 2, Snyder 4 2-2 10, McClain 2 3-4 8, Miller 1 1-1 3, Smith 1 0-0 2, O’Neill 0 5-6 5. Totals — 15 15-17 49.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

DuBois 6 1 5 7 — 19

Hollidaysburg 7 7 18 17 — 49

3-point goals: DuBois 1 (DeSalve); Hollidaysburg 4 (Hileman 2, Goins, McClain).

Records: DuBois (11-13); Hollidaysburg (12-10).

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