Lady Lions get special victory

A somewhat confused Olivia Hudson was instructed by Altoona coach Miriam Colledge to set the ball on the baseline for an unforced turnover with nine seconds to go in Friday night’s game against visiting Cumberland Valley.

Hudson quickly figured out the reason, and ran toward the Altoona bench.

With the Lady Lions firmly in control late against the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Conference’s top team, Colledge wanted to take Hudson and fellow senior Bridgid Fox out of the game.

The Altoona seniors received a well-deserved ovation from the home crowd on senior night as they helped power a 50-37 win over Cumberland Valley at the AAHS Fieldhouse.

“It was a special night,” said Hudson, who scored eight of her 16 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed nine rebounds.

Hudson and Fox played a little two-person game in the third quarter. Hudson fed Fox for a trio of layups early in the quarter, then Fox returned the favor with a half-court pass that led to a Hudson layup a few minutes later.

“Bridgid and I have been playing together for a really long time,” Hudson said. “I feel like we know how to make the right passes, and know what moves we’re going to make.”

Fox, who was double- and triple-teamed numerous times in the paint, still managed to score nine points and collected a game-high 12 rebounds.

“That was a great win, we were really pushing for this one,” Fox said. “We all came together as a team. It was just an amazing win for us.”

Colledge was glad the Lady Lions could get a big win against a very good team on senior night.

“We’re going to miss not having them next year, so I couldn’t be happier for them winning against a team that’s ranked No. 5 in the state and a team that we’ve had a hard time defeating this year,” said Colledge, whose Lady Lions improved to 13-7 overall and 11-4 in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Conference. “We went down there and almost beat them and lost by one (40-39 on Jan. 11) at their place. Very satisfying to come back and get the W, especially on senior night. This is a night they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Cumberland Valley had an eight-game win streak snapped and lost its first Mid-Penn game of the season, falling to 18-2 overall and 15-1 in the conference.

“Coming into the game, we knew it was going to be a hard game to play on their court, on senior night,”Cumberland Valley coach William Wolf said. “I don’t think we ever had the lead the whole game.”

Wolf was correct. The Lady Lions took charge from the opening tip and never trailed in the game. Hudson converted a baseline drive, knocked down a free throw, sophomore guard Adalynn Cherry had a layup, and Caranda Perea nailed a jumper to give Altoona a quick 7-0 lead that forced CV to call a timeout with just over two minutes to go in the quarter.

Cumberland Valley tied the score in the second quarter on a Samantha Murphy layup at the 7:34 mark. The deadlock was shortlived as Perea drained a 3-pointer for a 12-9 lead. The Lady Lions got 3-pointers from Stevie Webber and Cherry later in the quarter to stretch the lead to seven, 18-11, with 4:54 to play. CV’s Murphy converted another layup near the end of the first half to cut the lead to four, 20-16, at the break.

Hudson and Fox set the tone in the third quarter. Hudson assisted on three Fox layups, and later a Fox long pass led to a Hudson layup for an Altoona 30-21 lead.

“They were connecting on a set play we had changed at halftime and we were able to get a couple looks off that,” said Colledge referring to Hudson’s trio of feeds into the post that turned into Fox baskets. “We made an adjustment at halftime and it was working for us. And credit Olivia, she made great passes.”

Cumberland Valley sliced the lead to five (30-25) on a pair of Hannah Sauve free throws to open the fourth quarter scoring, but that’s as close as the Lady Eagles would get the rest of the way. Altoona’s Hudson was fouled and made two free throws, then Perea followed with a 3-pointer off an assist from Hudson to stretch the lead to 10 (35-25) with 6:35 to play.

“We were clicking and everything was working for us tonight,” Colledge said. “We’ve been working hard in practice and making a commitment to playing as a team. When all that comes together, this is the end result.”

Perea scored a game-high 17 points for Altoona, which travels to Williamsport on Tuesday and then hosts Chambersburg for a makeup game on Wednesday.

Cumberland Valley hosts Mount Lebanon today in its final regular-season game, then opens the Mid-Penn Conference Tournament with a semifinal game against Bishop McDevitt on Tuesday. Greencastle plays Trinity in the other conference semifinal.

CUMBERLAND VALLEY (37): Miller 3 1-2 7, Jekot 3 2-2 11, Holcomb 0 0-0 0, Sauve 0 3-4 3, Kuffa 3 0-0 7, Murphy 2 0-0 4, Leitzel 1 0-0 2, Campbell 1 0-0 3. Totals — 13 6-8 37.

ALTOONA (50): Rupert 0 0-0 0, Cherry 2 0-0 5, Hudson 5 5-7 16, Fox 4 1-2 9, Webber 1 0-0 2, Corbin 0 1-2 1. Totals — 19 7-11 50.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Cumberland Valley 7 9 7 14 — 37

Altoona 9 11 10 20 — 50

3-point goals – Cumberland Valley 5 (Jekot 3, Kuffa, Campbell); Altoona 5 (Cherry, Hudson, Perea 3).

Records: Cumberland Valley (18-2, 15-1); Altoona (13-7, 11-4).

Officials: Clark Adelman, Jack McDougal, Dan Solomon.

JV: Cumberland Valley, 34-17. High scorers: DeJah Hill, CV, 18; Kaylee Smith, A, 7.

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