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Campbell paves way to title with 35

Photos for the Mirror by Isaac Ritchey Alli Campbell drives to the basket against Brooklyn Rupert during DelGrosso’s victory. Campbell scored 35 of her team’s 45 points.

HOLLIDAYSBURG — When a championship team finds itself on the ropes, it will usually find a way to survive and come out on top.

The two-time defending state champion Bellwood-Antis girls team, playing under the sponsorship of DelGrosso’s, trailed Hippo, Fleming & Pertile (Altoona) by nine midway through the second half of the Blair Regional YMCA Women’s Summer League high school division championship game.

The team looked tired and out of sync at that point but responded the way champions do.

Trailing 34-25, DelGrosso’s put together a 16-2 run over an eight-minute span and went on to defeat HFP, 45-41, for its fourth straight summer league title.

Alli Campbell scored all 16 points during the decisive run and finished with a game-high 35 points.

The Notre Dame recruit credited the team’s defense with turning the tide, however.

“We knew there was a lot of game left. We calmed down, took it possession by possession and got some stops,” Campbell said.

After Campbell put in five straight points to make it a four-point game, Caranda Perea scored going to the basket to put HFP back up six.

It was the last points HFP would score until the final minute of the game with DelGrosso’s holding five-point edge.

Campbell scored on the fast break, knocked down a jump shot from the foul line then drained a 3-pointer to give DelGrosso’s a 37-36 lead with 6:13 remaining.

She extended the lead to three with a lay in then DelGrosso’s called timeout and went into a four corners stall to run clock and force HFP to foul.

Emilie Leidig sewed up the win with four consecutive foul shots in the final minute to finish with 10 points.

“This is a mature, poised group of girls. They know how to play down. We were down the other night against Tyrone and again (Thursday),” DelGrosso’s coach Kyley Longo-McGarvey said. “They’ve competed against some of the best kids at the highest levels. They have the experience and the will to win.”

With Sakeria Haralson and Macy Decker out of the lineup, several other girls had to step in and play significant minutes.

“For Jaidyn McCracken, Olivia Musselman and Jaylee Shuke, this is the first they’ve played big minutes, and they did a good job getting the 50-50 balls,” Longo-McGarvey said. “Emilie Leidig did an outstanding job on defense against Adalynn Cherry, and Jaydyn Shuke guarded Brooklyn Rupert tough before moving to Stevie Webber and holding her down. All the kids have a role to play, and they all do the little things that often go unnoticed.”

The first half went back and forth.

DelGrosso’s jumped out to an 8-4 lead before HFP scored 11 straight points.

After Perea sank a jumper from the elbow, Webber hit a trio of 3-pointers to put HFP up 15-8.

Campbell did one better than Webber, however, closing out the first half with four 3-pointers for a 22-17 lead at the break.

HFP quickly erased that deficit as part of 17-3 run to start the second half.

“We talked in the huddle at halftime about pushing the ball in transition. There were multiple possessions where we got either a layup or created something by going to the basket,” HFP coach Chris Fleegle said. “We had them on their heels at that point. We went a little stagnant after that. Not moving as well, watching a little too much.”

Cherry scored twice on the fast break, and Navaeh Gibson added a pair of buckets inside during the run. Webber and Perea hit 3-pointers as well.

Webber and Perea each scored 13 to lead the team, and Cherry finished with 11.

“It’s a little disheartening right now, but overall, I’m proud of our girls,” Fleegle said. “In the seven, eight weeks since we got started, the girls have done everything our staff has asked of them. It’s a new staff. Things are different, but they’re committed and working hard.”

HIPPO, FLEMING & PERTILE (41): Webber 4 1-2 13, Rupert 0 0-0 0, Cherry 5 1-3 11, Perea 6 0-0 13, Gibson 2 0-4 4, Burchfield 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Cree 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 2-9 41.

DELGROSSO’S (45): Jaydyn Shuke 0 0-0 0, McCracken 0 0-2 0, Leidig 2 4-4 10, Campbell 13 4-6 35, Musselman 0 0-0 0, Jaylee Shuke 0 0-0 0. Totals — 15 8-12 45.

SCORE BY HALVES

Hippo, Fleming & Pertile 17 24 — 41

DelGrosso’s 22 23 — 45

3-point goals: Hippo, Fleming & Pertile 5 (Webber 4, Perea); DelGrosso’s 7 (Campbell 5, Leidig 2).

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