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Golden Tigers’ press gives Dragons fits

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Basketball at any level is a game of runs, and Hollidaysburg made three big ones Monday night.

The Golden Tigers used a full-court press to force 14 Central turnovers by the middle of the third quarter, and Hollidaysburg parlayed the defensive heat into a bevy of 3-pointers and transition layups to overcome a sluggish first quarter and post a 60-45 non-league victory at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School gymnasium.

In raising its season record to 11-4, Hollidaysburg made nine 3-point field goals, including four in the second quarter, which the Golden Tigers carried, 20-6, to take a 28-21 halftime lead.

Hollidaysburg had a scoring run of 14 straight points in the second quarter and two separate runs of 12 straight points in the third quarter, which the Golden Tigers ruled, 26-8, to take a 54-29 advantage after three stops.

“We got on a bit of a roll and started to push the pace with our press,” Hollidaysburg coach Brad Lear said. “We were able to create a lot of turnovers with our press, and we were able to get some easy shots in transition.

“Then we were able to kick the ball outside to our shooters, and when you have five guys who can shoot the ball like our players can, you’re bound to get some points,” Lear added.

Trailing, 15-8 after one quarter, the Golden Tigers took command in the second period. After an inside bucket by sophomore Devon Boyles gave Central (9-4) a 21-14 lead, Hollidaysburg ran off the next 14 points. Senior Jaden Delerme’s driving field goal, a 3-pointer from the left corner by senior Josh Holsopple, and Holsopple’s putback tied the game, 21-21.

Sophomore Jake McGinnis hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to give Hollidaysburg a 24-21 lead, senior Luke Yeager followed with a jumper from the key, and Holsopple — who led the Golden Tigers with 13 points — hit a pair of free throws to cap off the surge and give Hollidaysburg the 28-21 lead at intermission.

“They did a nice job getting after us,” Central coach Paul Frederick said of the Golden Tigers. “We fed into their runs by giving the ball away too many times. We had a lot of turnovers, and a couple careless turnovers. We weren’t focused on the basketball, and that kind of opened the floodgates for them.”

McGinnis had a strong game for Hollidaysburg, with 10 points and five rebounds.

“We kept our heads up and kept playing,” McGinnis said of the Tigers overcoming the early deficit. “Our press got us going, we got a lot of turnovers, and we executed.”

Hollidaysburg continued rolling in the third quarter. After senior Braden Kitt converted a driving field goal and free throw into a 3-point play to pull Central to within 28-24, Hollidaysburg pulled away by scoring the next 12 points.

Sophomore Mitchell Kratzer converted a Delerme feed for an inside field goal, and McGinnis drained a 3-pointer from the left side, then followed with two free throws later in the period to put the Tigers up, 35-24. Delerme’s driving layup, and a Holsopple 3-pointer from the left side, finished off the run and gave the Tigers a 40-24 lead.

Later in the quarter, Hollidaysburg expanded a 42-27 lead to 54-27 with 12 more straight points. Three-pointers by Holsopple and senior Ryan Stevenson, sandwiched around a Yeager putback, started the run, and Gildea followed with two field goals to finish it.

Boyles and junior Hunter Klotz led Central with 13 points apiece. Kitt had a game-high 10 rebounds for Central, while Delerme, fighting through a bout of the flu, led Hollidaysburg in rebounds with seven.

“Earlier in the season, we talked about playing more than one complete quarter of basketball,” Lear said. “Tonight, we felt that we played two-and-a-half complete quarters. We’re still not where we want to be, but we’re coming pretty close.”

Game notes: Hollidaysburg converted 21 of 49 floor shots and won the battle of the boards, 23-21 … Central made 18 of 34 floor shots … Both teams are back in action Wednesday night, with Hollidaysburg traveling to Williamsport and Central visiting Tyrone for a Mountain League game.

CENTRAL (45): Kitt 4 1-1 9, Eberlin 3 0-0 7, Boyles 5 3-4 13, Kling 0 0-0 0, Klotz 5 0-0 13, Liebal 0 0-0 0, Ferry 1 0-0 3, Rolle 0 0-0 0, Hoenstine 0 0-0 0, Lingenfelter 0 0-0 0, Gregg 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 4-5 45.

HOLLIDAYSBURG (60): Gildea 3 0-0 8, Delerme 3 3-3 9, McGinnis 3 2-2 10, M. Kratzer 2 0-0 4, Holsopple 4 2-2 13, Yeager 3 2-2 8, Stevenson 2 0-0 6, G. Kratzer 1 0-0 2, Dean 0 0-0 0, Imhoff 0 0-0 0. Totals — 21 9-9 60.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Central 15 6 8 16–45

Hollidaysburg 8 20 26 6–60

3-point goals: Central 5 (Klotz 3, Ferry, Eberlin); Hollidaysburg 9 (Holsopple 3, McGinnis 2, Gildea 2, Stevenson 2).

Records: Central (9-4); Hollidaysburg (11-4).

Officials: Frank Garritano, Chris Garritano, Tony Sottile.

JV: Central, 55-16. High scorers–Cassimier Lowery, C, 16; Atticus Imoff, H, 5.

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