Everett on historic run

Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Everett’s Elizabeth Jay (left) and Madison Hicks battle for a rebound with A-C Valley’s Kylee Eaton.

GREENSBURG — The Everett Area High School girls basketball team is in uncharted territory.

The Lady Warriors became the first team in their program’s history to reach the semifinals of the PIAA state tournament, punching their ticket into the PIAA Class 2A semis with a 59-36 quarterfinal victory over Allegheny-Clarion Valley Friday evening at Hempfield Area High School.

Everett improved to 24-3 and will meet District 10 champion West Middlesex in the semifinal round on Monday night at a site and time to be determined.

Standout junior guard Kaitlyn Maxwell scored a game-high 26 points for Everett, which jumped out to an 18-11 lead after one quarter, led 33-19 at halftime and salted the game away by carrying the fourth quarter, 17-4.

Everett coach Keith Moyer was happy for his team’s ability to make program history and reach the semifinals.

“It feels great,” Moyer said. “These are great kids who have worked hard, and I’m so happy for them. I don’t want the season to end. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”

Senior guard Brooke Colledge, who scored 11 points for Everett, also relished her team’s opportunity to continue to play on in the state tournament.

“It’s amazing,” Colledge said. “We’ve never been here (semifinals) before, and it’s amazing to have that opportunity.”

With Maxwell scoring 10 first-quarter points, Everett broke out strong, closing the first quarter with an 18-11 lead on buckets by Maxwell and senior forward Madison Hicks.

After A-C Valley closed the lead to 23-15 midway through the second quarter, Everett went on a 10-4 run for the 33-19 halftime lead. Colledge hit a jumper from the key, junior guard Kristen Ewing connected on a 3-point shot, Maxwell chipped in a steal and breakaway layup, junior guard Gabby Bulger hit one free throw, and Hicks added two more free throws during the surge.

“Our coach wanted us to come out with confidence,” Maxwell said. “Since we played here on Tuesday (and won, 49-42, in the second round over Bishop Canevin), we felt like we were in a comfortable situation.”

Everett led, 42-32 after three quarters, but sustained the loss of Madison Hicks with an ankle injury with 3:39 left in the third quarter.

Everett’s bench held serve and then some during the fourth quarter, which Moyer said was a tribute to the team’s character.

“Our defenders defended really well, and our scorers scored,” Moyer said. “We were able to grow the lead when our senior leader went down, and that speaks to the toughness of our team.”

Ahead, 44-34 in the fourth quarter, Everett iced the game with a 12-point run to go ahead, 56-34. Maxwell scored 10 points – three field goals and four free throws – during the run, while Ewing added a pair of free throws.

“They’re a really good team,” A-C Valley coach Dave Sherman said of Everett. “Maxwell is an impressive athlete. It’s hard to gauge speed and talent on film, but she has a lot of both.”

A-C Valley (22-5) was led by senior center Kylee Eaton’s nine points.

A-C Valley, though,couldn’t stop Everett from making history.

“We’ve never been this far,” Colledge said. “I’m extremely pumped for this team.”

EVERETT (59): Maxwell 10 6-10 26, Colledge 4 0-0 11, Ewing 1 2-4 5, M. Hicks 3 2-2 8, Jay 1 0-0 2, Bulger 1 1-2 4, Iseminger 0 0-2 0, A. Hicks 0 0-0 0, Treece 0 0-0 0, Nave 0 0-0 0, Mills 1 0-0 3. Totals – 21 11-20 59.

A-C VALLEY (36): McMany 3 2-2 8, Cullen 2 0-1 5, Boocks 3 0-0 8, Eaton 4 1-2 9, Meals 1 2-2 4, Wetzel 1 0-0 2, Sherman 0 0-0 0, Blauser 0 0-0 0, Schierbl-iealse 0 0-0 0. Totals–14 5-6 36.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Everett 18 15 9 17 59

AC Valley 11 8 13 4 36

Three-point field goals: Everett (6): Colledge 3, Ewing, Bulger, Mills, A-C Valley (3): Boocks 2, Cullen.

Records: Everett (24-3); A-C Valley (22-5).

Officials: Brock Kauffman, Vickie Markiewicz, George Figura

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