The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

High School Sports

December 27, 2013

North Star girls win in Boswell Jaycees Tournament

BOSWELL — The North Star girls basketball team has faced big deficits before, so the Cougars didn’t blink when they trailed by 11 at halftime in the 47th Annual Boswell Area Jaycees Tournament on Friday.

The difference was, this time the Cougars didn’t just get close; they finished the job.

Courtney Schrock scored 25 points and North Star held Mount Pleasant to five second-half field goals – including just one in the third quarter – to rally for a 50-41 victory and a spot opposite Bishop McCort in tonight’s championship game.

The boys championship will pit Forest Hills against Mount Pleasant.

North Star (6-2) trailed 27-16 at the half, in part because the Vikings (3-4) hit four 3-pointers in the first half. It didn’t help that North Star scored just five points in the second quarter.

“It seemed like we were only getting one shot and were done,” North Star coach Randy Schrock said. “We tried to run with them. When we slowed down and ran a patient offense, we were more selective.”

It was Mount Pleasant that struggled in the second half, as Morgan Barlock, who tied Ashley Fearer for the team lead with 11 points, hit the Vikings only field goal in the third quarter.

“We went to more of an aggressive man defense because they were shooting so well behind the line,” Coach Schrock said. “They were shooting 4 feet behind the line and we’re not used to that. We had to pull our defense out to contest that.”

The Vikings went more than 4 minutes without a point over the third and fourth quarters.

North Star whittled down the lead during that time and tied it on a pair of free throws by Jackie Stanko, who finished with 11 points, and took the lead with 5:56 remaining in the fourth on Kylee Joseph’s 3-pointer, which was the Cougars’ only trey of the night.

Mount Pleasant never regained the lead, as North Star went 13 for 16 from the free-throw line in the final quarter.

Courtney Schrock scored 15 of her points from the charity stripe as the Cougars shot 27 free throws compared with just five for Mount Pleasant.

Coach Schrock expects a big challenge from Bishop McCort, which hammered Forest Hills in the opening game, when the teams meet in the championship at 5:30 tonight.

“They’re tough,” he said of the Crimson Crushers. “We scrimmaged them. We know they’re tough. (They are) a very well-coached team.”

Bishop McCort advanced to the championship by avenging a loss to Forest Hills eight days earlier.

The Crimson Crushers (6-2) dominated from the outset this time in a 60-32 victory.

Sophomore Morgan Instone led Bishop McCort with 16 points while Katie Wilson added 11.

The Crimson Crushers built a 12-4 lead in the first quarter and, after the 5-2 Rangers stayed even in the second, pulled away in the second half.

Caitlyn Gallaher scored 14 points for Forest Hills, which beat Bishop McCort 50-43 a little more than a week ago.

The Rangers will play the Vikings in the consolation at 2:30 p.m.

The North Star boys nearly matched the girls with a big comeback, but fell just short in 52-49 loss to Forest Hills. The Rangers led 40-28 at the half, but the scrappy Cougars kept pushing Forest Hills.

Jordan Stanko’s putback with 3:15 remaining in the fourth quarter pulled North Star within two at 44-42. Forest Hills started to pull away at the foul line, but Jake Little’s 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining brought North Star back within a basket at 51-49. Chip Hook hit a free throw to push the Forest Hills lead back to three points and Adam Rucosky’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.

Hook and Joe Donoughe each had 16 points for Forest Hills while Little had 16 for North Star.

Forest Hills will play Mount Pleasant in the championship game at 7:30 tonight.

The Mount Pleasant boys had 10 players score in a lopsided, 80-39 victory over Meyersdale. The 4-4 Vikings bolted out to 28-9 lead after one quarter and never looked back. Marcus Malara scored 18 points for the WPIAL squad while Dante Porter had 17 and Matt Johnson added 11 as coach Tony Splendore emptied his bench in the second half.

 The Red Raiders (2-5) got 10 points apiece from Nick Cerreta and Ethan Aldinger. They will play North Star in the consolation game at 4 this afternoon.

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