Huge 2nd quarter carries Lady Lions to win
Eight minutes into Friday night’s Mid-Penn Conference game with visiting Harrisburg at the Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse, the Altoona Lady Lions were trailing, 16-10, after making only 4-of-16 first-quarter shots.
The second quarter was a completely different story, though, and ultimately, it was the story of the game for Altoona.
Sparked by 8-of-14 shooting and five 3-pointers, Altoona carried the second quarter, 24-6, en route to a 55-48 victory.
Senior guard Stevie Webber and junior guard Adalynn Cherry both connected on a pair of shots from beyond the 3-point arc in the second quarter, while freshman Brooklyn Barron chipped in another one right before the buzzer, as Altoona (7-6 overall, 6-3 in the conference) claimed a 34-22 halftime lead.
“In the second quarter, we did a good job attacking their zone (defense), we played unselfish basketball, we made the extra passes, got the open looks, and shot the ball well,” Altoona coach Chris Fleegle said. “I thought we defended a little better, too. We played good basketball in the second quarter.”
Altoona staged a 17-point second-quarter run to turn its 16-10 deficit into a 27-16 lead.
Barron, who made a solid contribution off the bench with six points, started the rally with a free throw, Cherry followed with a 3-pointer from the left corner, then rolled through the lane for a layup to tie the score at 16-16.
Webber made two consecutive treys, from the left corner and right corner, to put Altoona ahead to stay, 22-16. Another Cherry 3-pointer from the right side, and a driving shot by senior guard Caranda Perea — who scored a game-high 17 points — gave Altoona the 27-16 advantage.
“I think we started to find the open shots that we needed, and we were making the right extra passes,” Cherry, who scored 14 points, said of Altoona’s second-quarter surge. “We started to get going offensively, and I think that sparked us.”
After junior Destiny Stewart’s field goal brought Harrisburg to within 27-18, Perea canned a jumper from the key to put Altoona in front, 29-18. Stewart, who scored 12 points, deposited a putback for Harrisburg, but Perea answered with a pair of free throws.
After senior center Ki’Airah Singleton, who led Harrisburg with 16 points, scored a field goal, Barron drilled in her 3-pointer from the left corner to give Altoona the 34-22 advantage at intermission.
“Our team was working the ball really well,” Webber said. “I made the shots I made, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates. The credit goes to them for working the ball so well.”
Harrisburg (5-9 overall) was playing without the services of a couple key bench players, according to assistant coach Ahmad Jones, who was filling in for head coach Larry Moore. Consequently, Jones said, Harrisburg took some time to adjust defensively.
“We were down a couple players, and I implemented some defensive changes,” Jones said.”We were playing some jayvees, and it took them awhile to get the hang of the rotations. We gave up a couple 3-pointers in the second quarter that gave (Altoona) the lead.”
Altoona kept the lead for the duration, although Harrisburg won the first, third and fourth quarters.
Altoona ballooned its lead to as many as 20 points, 42-22, on Cherry’s layup early in the third quarter, before Harrisburg fought back.
Harrisburg closed the quarter on seven-point run, and a pair of free throws by freshman guard Ah’nae Bobinson pulled the visitors to within 46-36 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Harrisburg closed to within eight points twice, the last on two free throws by junior Alexis Jenkins that made it a 52-44 game.
Perea’s free throw put Altoona up, 53-44, before sophomore Shawnetta Simmons’ putback pulled Harrisburg to within seven, 53-46.
Two free throws by Cherry as time wound down gave Altoona a 55-46 advantage, and Stewart hit a bucket right before the buzzer for Harrisburg to set the 55-48 final score.
“We still need to learn to play with the lead,” Fleegle said. “We allowed their zone to dictate what we did in the third and fourth quarters. But at the end of the day, this is our third win in four games, and we’re building to where we want to be at the end of the season.
“We’re headed in the right direction.”
Game notes: Corbin and Perea had seven rebounds apiece for Altoona, while Singleton had a game-high eight for Harrisburg … Altoona, which made 18 of 49 floor shots, visits Central Dauphin in a Mid-Penn Conference game on Tuesday night.
HARRSBURG (48): Singleton 6 4-6 16, Brown 1 0-0 3, Stewart 5 2-3 12, Bobinson 2 4-6 8, Simmons 1 3-4 5, Jenkins 1 0-0 2, Glover 1 0-0 2, O’Neal-Sloane 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 13-19 48.
ALTOONA (55): Rupert 0 0-1 0, Webber 3 0-0 9, Cherry 4 4-4 14, Corbin 2 2-2 7, Perea 6 5-6 17, Gibson 1 0-0 2, Barron 2 1-2 6, Burchfield 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 12-14 55.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Harrisburg 16 6 14 12 — 48
Altoona 10 24 12 9 — 55
3-point goals: Harrisburg 1 (Brown); Altoona 7 (Webber 3, Cherry 2, Barron, Corbin).
Records: Harrisburg (5-9); Altoona (7-6 overall, 6-3 in the Mid-Penn Conference).
Officials: Sarah Fye, Don Donaldson, Dave Wright.
JV: Altoona, 47-10. High scorers–Clara Carter, H, 5; Emma Skelley, A, 8.