Lumberjills And Wildcats Hook Up In Thriller
BY?R. J. GOODE
For The Wetzel Chronicle
It was a thrilling match up Jan. 21 in Pine Grove between the Valley Lumberjill’s and the Paden City Lady Wildcats. The ‘Jills came from being down by 10 points at the half to win, 49-45.
Wildcat Alli Bertozzi tallied two free throws to start the game, but, it was quickly matched on a pair of Brittany Guthrie and Heidi Shaw baskets and a Morgan Starkey free throw to take the lead.
Wildcat Amanda Tallman swished a basket from beyond the arc, but the ‘Jills Jackie Greathouse, who was celebrating her 18th birthday, tied it up at 7-7 with a deuce. Megan Cutlip quickly gave the lead back to the guests with a basket. Her teammate, Dominique Craft, added a free throw to push their lead to 13-8.
However, Valley’s Starkey swished home two charity tosses right before the end of the first period to close the gap, 13-10, in favor of the ‘Cats after one period of play.
Bertozzi scored two buckets early in the second period and Craft followed her up with a deuce to jump out to a 19-10 lead. Cutlip then doubled up the ‘Jills with a charity toss followed by a Bertozzi free throw.
Starkey scored the ‘Jill’s first points of the quarter with a deuce on back to back trips down the floor, cutting Valley’s deficit to 14-21.
Tallman and Bertozzi each added buckets in between a Tallman charity toss to give the ‘Cats their largest lead of the game at 27-14.
Guthrie tallied a basket from beyond the arc to stop the bleeding, but the ‘Cats Courtney Conway swished a three of her own. Not to be out done, Guthrie added another long range jumper to cut the ‘Cat lead to 10 at the break.
A steady dose of Guthrie and Starkey in the third period shrunk the Paden City lead to eight after three periods of play; and the ‘Jills climbed back into the game without starters Guthrie and Tiffany Hayes who each had fouled out.
Bertozzi scored an early free throw, but the ‘Jill’s answered with four straight points to pull to within five points with 6:55 to go in the game. Bertozzi and Conway each netted free throws, but the ‘Jills Leah Morris knocked down a jumper to close the gap. After her tally, the ‘Jill’s went on a 12-2 run, keyed by two Megan Butcher baskets, to gain a well deserved 49-45 victory.
Starkey paced the ‘Jills with 14 points, while Guthrie added 10 points. Tiffany Hayes and Greathouse each netted six for the hosts, while Shaw and Butcher each tallied four points. Danni Hayes contributed three points, while Morris knocked in a deuce.
The ‘Cats were energized by Bertozzi’s 18 points, while Cutlip and Tallman teamed for 17 markers. Craft and Conway each added four points, while Erika Sapp netted a deuce.
It was a heart-breaker for Paden City, while the ‘Jills learned that they can finish off teams without a couple key players in the lineup.