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Lady Lions move on after easy win

01/26/21 Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Altoona's Adaliz Corbin pressures State College's Evie Lenze.

The outcome of Tuesday’s rivalry game between the Altoona and State College high school girls basketball teams was never in question, but that doesn’t mean Altoona coach Chris Fleegle is ready to relax following his team’s 51-16 triumph at the AAHS Fieldhouse.

“Our schedule doesn’t allow us to get complacent,” Fleegle said. “We have Bishop McDevitt coming in (tonight). That’s a very good team who will defend us 90 feet up and down the floor. (SC coach) Alli (Mock) will do a great job over there, and State College will get better as the season goes on. The team we beat tonight won’t be the same team we could see in districts.”

Altoona scored the first nine points and led 20-4 after one quarter. The Lady Lions forced 12 turnovers in the first eight minutes and 28 in the game.

“With us being small this year, we need to be attacking on the defensive end,” Fleegle said. “Last year, we were able to battle with teams with a man-to-man defense, but this year, it’s important to switch it up and be more aggressive and create some easier opportunities for us on the offensive end.”

The strategy certainly worked Tuesday as many of Altoona’s baskets were layups.

The Lady Lions put the 30-point mercy rule into motion after a Cherry basket with 4:50 left in the third quarter.

State College is replacing all five of its starters from a season ago and has a new coach.

“We have been stressing every day in practice since we started in November that we are going to make mistakes. We understand that,” Mock said. “We just need to see progress. Some days we work on rebounding drills, and we want to see progress on that in the next game. We know it’s not going to be instant. It’s going to be a process.”

Thirteen different Altoona players made it into the game, and nine of those scored. Adalynn Cherry led all scorers with 15 points, and Adaliz Corbin added 10 points and a team-high five rebounds.

“We were so excited to play State College, so we came out hard,” Cherry said. “I think that’s the reason the game turned out the way it did.”

Emma Coudriet led the Lady Little Lions with six points. State College left its starters in deep into the fourth quarter in an attempt to get as much experience as possible.

“The girls have been phenomenal, and they have been adjusting to everything thrown at them,” Mock said. “We’re really young. We’re trying to instill confidence in them. Things will get tough, but they can come back stronger. We’re all battling together. No one is in this alone. We’re all new, and we’re going to get better.”

Altoona improved to 4-1, and State College dropped to 1-3.

“We can improve on our execution, but we work on those things in practice every day,” Cherry said. “I know we can get even better.”

STATE COLLEGE (16): Coudriet 2 2-2 6, Donnell 1 0-1 2, D. Tsarnakova 2 0-0 4, R. Tsarnakova 1 1-2 3, Lenze 0 1-2 1, McElhinney 0 0-0 0, Lieb 0 0-1 0, Bierly 0 0-0 0, Butterworth 0 0-2 0, Reese 0 0-0 0. Totals — 6 4-10 16.

ALTOONA (51): Rupert 2 1-2 5, Cherry 5 4-5 15, Smith 3 0-1 6, Corbin 5 0-0 10, Lane 1 0-0 2, Barron 0 0-0 0, Burchfield 0 0-0 0, Gibson 1 0-0 2, Cree 0 0-0 0, Cree 0 0-0 0, O’Keefe 2 0-0 6, McGirk 1 0-0 3, Krull 0 0-0 0, DeGennaro 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 5-8 51.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

State College 4 1 4 7 — 16

Altoona 20 12 13 6 — 51

3-point goals: State College: none; Altoona 4 (O’Keefe 2, Cherry, McGirk).

Records: State College (1-3); Altoona (4-1)

Officials: Sarah Fye, Dave Reimer, Dave Wright

JV: Altoona, 37-19. High scorers–Maggie Huggins, SC, 5; Jaiden Krull, A, 9

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