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Tussey pulls away in 2nd half for consolation win

Postseason picture

FRIDAY

3A BOYS

6-4 Bellwood-Antis vs. 7-1 Lincoln Park

1A BOYS

6-1 Juniata Valley vs. 9-3 Clarion-Limestone

6-2 Bishop Carroll vs. 9-2 North Clarion

6A GIRLS

6-1 Altoona vs. 7-4 Norwin

4A GIRLS

6-2 Huntingdon vs. 7-2 Central Valley

2A GIRLS

6-1 Bellwood-Antis vs. 5-2 Windber

5-1 Everett vs. 7-5 Serra Catholic

SATURDAY

4A BOYS

6-1 Huntingdon vs. 7-3 Highlands

5-1 Bedford vs. 10-2 Grove City

2A BOYS

6-1 Bishop Guilfoyle vs. 7-6 Sto-Rox

5A GIRLS

6-1 Hollidaysburg vs. 7-3 Penn Hills

3A GIRLS

6-1 Penn Cambria vs. 7-5 Washington

6-3 Central Cambria vs. 9-1 Brookville

6-4 Tyrone vs. 7-1 Neshannock

1A GIRLS

6-1 Bishop Carroll vs. 3-4 Veritas Academy

5-3 Tussey Mountain vs. 6-2 Purchase Line

By Nate Ritchey

nritchey@altoonamirror.com

JOHNSTOWN — Tussey Mountain coach Todd Gates had been waiting all second half for the right opportunity to take the air out of the ball.

The chance presented itself very early in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Titans took advantage by turning a four-point lead into a 47-29 victory over Fannett-Metal in District 5 Class 1A consolation action on Saturday at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s Sportcenter.

“I knew as soon as we got a lead we were just going to slow it down and make them come and foul us,” Gates said. “We were just looking for a sequence like that to happen that we could just kind of get a little bit of separation.”

With the win, Tussey improves to 17-8 on the year and moves into the PIAA state playoffs where it will play Purchase Line this Saturday. Meanwhile, the loss ends the Lady Tigers season at 16-8.

Leading 30-26 heading into the final 10 minutes, Tussey Mountain got two free throws from Sophie Brumbaugh as the foul was the seventh on Fannett-Metal — putting the Lady Titans in the 1-and-1 at 7:05.

Meghan Molosky, who recorded 11 points, buried a 3-pointer in the right corner nearly a minute later to put the Lady Titans up 35-26 as the nine-point lead proved to be just the right amount for Gates to slow the game down.

“You know, at this time of the year, it’s just a matter of surviving and move on to the next game,” Gates said.

Tussey Mountain outscored Fannett-Metal down the stretch by a 12-3 margin as neither team made another field goal in the game.

Fannett-Metal coach Todd Best was visibly and vocally not happy with his team’s turnovers and hesitancy to shoot the ball in the first quarter as he yelled out, “We’ve got four turnovers already. Shoot the ball!” at the 5:06 point.

The Lady Titans might have had a little bit to do with that, especially Brumbaugh who recorded three of the four blocks by her team in the first. Brynn Hartman got Fannett-Metal on the board with two free throws at 4:16, and then hit the only field foal out of five attempts on a driving layup with 2:04 remaining to make it 7-4.

“We had a game plan coming in and it’s not a typical game plan. That kind of showed there in the first few minutes,” Best said. “Give my girls credit, they battled from there-on-out.”

With Tussey Mountain leading 12-4 after one, the second stanza proved to be different as Brumbaugh, who finished with a game-high 15 points, was tagged with her third foul — forcing Gates to sit her — at the 6:52 mark.

Brumbaugh’s replacement, Kailee Leonard, had four straight points, including an and-1 play at 3:40 that pushed the lead to 20-8.

However, with Brumbaugh on the bench, Katie Johns asserted herself in the paint for the Lady Tigers. She had eight of her 10 points to help her team close the half on a 12-2 run.

“Katie Johns is a solid player. We have to have Sophie in there to neutralize that. When she wasn’t in there, we tried to pressure out front but that didn’t work. They were still able to get her the ball.”

Hartman drilled a big 3-pointer for the Lady Tigers with 5.6 ticks to go, that made the score 22-20.

“We hit a big 3-pointer right before halftime to cut the deficit to two,” Best said. “(Then) went in and tried to make some minor adjustments. I’m not sure where the edge was that we developed there in the last three or four minutes of the first half because we did not quite have it in the second half.”

While the Fannett-Metal offense was finding its groove, the defense on Tussey Mountain’s leading scorer, Lexi Weimert, played a big part as the senior was held to just one field goal in the game She finished with six points.

“They (Fannett-Metal) completely took her (Weimert) out of the game,” Gates said. “She’s averaging 16 points a game. You hold her to one field goal in the game, that’s taking her out of the game.”

The Lady Titans extended their lead to eight (28-20) after a Weimert foul shot, Molosky trey and Brumbaugh layup at 6:29.

However, the Lady Tigers settled in as Jamie Adams hit a jumper on the baseline at 4:48 before Johns converted a putback.

Morgan Ritchey, who got Brumbaugh to commit her fourth foul at 2:51, hit a pair of foul shots to pull her team within two (28-26).

“We were scrambling at halftime as to what to do. I thought we started the third quarter very good, and then kind of fell back into the same thing and just let them (Fannett-Metal) keep coming back,” Gates said.

Brumbaugh re-entered the game with 32.9 to go and scored off a Molosky missed free thow with 1.9 remaining to increase the Lady Titan lead to 30-26 heading into the final stanza.

“Fannett was ready for us,” Gates said. “They took away our strengths and we had to do some adjustments.”

FANNETT-METAL (29): Rotz 0 1-2 1, M. Ritchey 0 5-8 5, Adams 1 0-0 2, Hartman 3 2-5 9, Johns 5 0-0 10, K. Ritchey 0 0-0 0, Hoffmann 0 0-1 0, Hill 0 0-0 0, Bowen 0 2-2 2, Hockenberry 0 0-0 0, Harris 0 0-1 0, Hammond 0 0-0 0, McGee 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 10-19 29.

TUSSEY MOUNTAIN (47): Weimert 1 4-7 6, Brumbaugh 5 4-6 15, Garner 3 0-0 6, Molosky 2 5-6 11, Park 1 0-0 2, Leonard 1 3-5 5, Tayler 0 0-0 0, Weaver 0 0-2 0, Hafer 0 2-2 2, Wright 0 0-0 0, Hoover 0 0-0 0, Price 0 0-0 0, LaPenna 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 18-28 47.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Fannett-Metal 4 16 6 3 — 29

Tussey Mountain 12 10 8 17 — 47

3-point field goals: Fannett-Metal 1 (Hartman 1); Tussey Mountain 3 (Molosky 2, Brumbaugh 1).

Records: Fannett-Metal (16-8); Tussey Mountain (17-8).

Officials: Craig Stahl, Will Hoffman, Don Bussard.

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