The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

December 16, 2013

Girls basketball: Lewisburg uses 18-0 run to pull away from Selinsgrove

LEWISBURG — Emily Conrad brought down a rebound on a miss early in the third quarter and converted a lay-up in close.

At the time, Conrad’s fight for the ball that she converted into points may have seemed like Lewisburg was simply retaking the lead.

However, Conrad started a string of 18 straight points for Lewisburg that Selinsgrove was unable to bounce back from. Anchored by the scoring burst, Lewisburg broke open a tight game, beating Selinsgrove, 43-29, Monday night at Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School in Lewisburg.

Before the run, the game was deadlocked at 22 midway through the third quarter but between Selinsgrove points, Lewisburg grabbed control of the game, leading 40-22 by the time Selinsgrove’s Emily Breheny knocked down a jumper from the foul line to end the spurt.

Conrad’s quick hands around the ball were copied by her teammates as the Green Dragons stole the ball away from the Seals nearly every time Selinsgrove looked to push the ball inside.

After Lenore Doyle scored her first points of the game on a corner jumper to push the Green Dragons’ lead to five, Doyle followed an Akilah McFadden steal by snagging an errant in-bounds pass. Although the Green Dragons were unable to convert off of the Doyle steal after McFadden took her swipe in for a lay-up, the tide of the game had shifted.

McFadden and Doyle each knocked down a three, book-ending a pair of Emily Aukerman free throws to end  a quarter in which the Green Dragons out-scored the Seals, 17-5.

“(When) a team is packing in the zone, you need someone to come out and knock down some perimeter shots and I think Lenore loosened (Selinsgrove) up a little bit,” Lewisburg head coach Phil Stamm said.

McFadden finished with 14 points, using her speed to attack the rim. Conrad scored a game-high 16 points to help pace the Green Dragons.

“(Akilah is) a really strong player,” Stamm said. “She’s definitely got a good knack for the ball.”

Before Lewisburg grabbed control of a game that could have swung the other way, foul trouble was nearly the Green Dragons’ undoing with three starters each charged with their third personal foul early in the third quarter.

“We like to be a strong, tough defensive team but (we) kind of had to figure out how we could play,” Stamm said. “In the second half, the girls did a little better job of not reaching and committing dumb fouls and still playing good defense.”

With three starters in foul trouble, the Green Dragons were able to play the final five minutes of the third quarter without a foul, preventing the Seals from reaching the free throw line, from where the Seals had scored 11 points in the first half.

The Seals took advantage of Lewisburg fouls in the first half to stay within striking distance, with the Green Dragons clinging to a 20-17 lead at the half.

“(My players) are not going to quit,” Selinsgrove head coach Tim Lauver said. “They’re going to keep playing right to the very end. We just need to find out a way to get a better start.

McFadden and Conrad wasted little time establishing the facets of their respective games that carried the Green Dragons to a win.

Conrad drained a short jumper to put the Green Dragons ahead 4-1 early before McFadden stole the ball and dished to Conrad for a lay-up to put the Green Dragons ahead 8-1.

Despite Lewisburg’s best efforts, the Seals were able to knock down free throws when they had opportunities to stay within a possession from a tie game for much of the first half. After the Green Dragons grabbed a 16-8 lead early in the second quarter, five straight points from the Seals with three free throws and a lay-up brought the score back to within three.

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