An 11-year drought came to an end on Saturday night when the Windber boys basketball team defeated Conemaugh Township 57-48 in the title game of the Windber Rotary Tournament to capture the tourney title.
The Ramblers (5-2) had lost to the Indians (5-2) 68-64 on Dec. 17 and gained a measure of revenge with Saturday’s victory, which featured double-digit scoring from three players including Tournament MVP Bryce Spak.
“We played great defense,” said Windber first-year coach Jude Leonardis, whose team led by three after the first quarter, was tied at the half and outscored Township 27-18 in the second half.
It was an especially sweet tournament time for Windber, which also saw its girls claim a tournament title. In the Penns Manor Tourney, the Ramblers came away with a 47-34 victory over the host Comets with Tournament MVP Kortney Lampel, a sophomore, scoring 15 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.
“They say that defense wins championships and that’s certainly true with this team,” second-year Windber girls coach Cory Pavlosky said. “I am very proud of these girls; they earned this title.”
Bishop Carroll’s boys, who despite rumors to the contrary, did not practice on Christmas Day, won the title of the County Seat Tournament, crushing Ebensburg neighbor Central Cambria in the championship game. The Bishop Carroll girls went 2-0 at the Central Tournament, which was played in a pre-determined bracket.
The Berlin Brothersvalley girls won their tournament championship and the Mountaineer boys were victorious in both of their weekend games.
The youthful Somerset boys improved to 4-4 by winning the title of the Punxsutawney Tournament with MVP Dylan Barnes scoring a game-high 20 points. The Richland boys (6-1) were the winners of their tournament with multiple players scoring in double figures and Kyle Flick claiming MVP honors.
The Bishop McCort girls captured the title of the Boswell Jaycees Tournament while the Class A Portage girls overcame two much larger schools downing Ligonier Valley in the championship to retain the crown of the Ligonier Valley Tournament.
“To go down there to Ligonier and play Quad-A and AAA schools is a real challenge but that’s what we’re looking for,” Mustangs coach Lance Hudak said after his team improved to 8-1. “We know that playing in this tournament will make us stronger. We were flying around like crazy on defense and were able to score off of our transition game. We were also 7 of 14 from the 3-point line.”
The Christmas tourney season wraps up today with the Cambria Heights tournament as the host Highlanders face Glendale for the title.
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Over the top: United’s Eden Bloom became the area’s first 1,000-point scorer this season.
Lions’ coach Lee Ann Ault said it was a quiet ascension by Bloom, who now sits at 1,017 points.
“Eden is a good kid, a good student and a good athlete,” Ault said. “She is a team player and has been far more concerned with the team’s success. As far as I know, she didn’t even count down because she didn’t want to draw attention to herself. Whatever we have needed from her, she has done.”
The Lions last girls 1,000-point scorer was Jess Bloom, Eden’s niece.
Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/CoryIsenbergTD.