The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 16, 2013

Girls basketball: Red Raiders carry Valley banner to Elite Eight

Red Raiders carry Valley banner to Elite Eight

By Jon Gerardi

The Daily Item

Before the first game even tipped off this season, Lourdes coach Mike Klembara got his team together and told them very simply that if they were going to make a run, they needed to do one thing: win districts.

A task probably easier said than done, especially considering the District 4 Class A field that Lourdes had to get by. First a semifinal game against Benton and senior Justine Seely followed by a championship game against a talented Sayre squad. Neither game was in any way a cakewalk, but Lourdes won both en route to a fifth consecutive District 4 Class A title

"Every indication was if we came out as district champions, the road to where we're at now would be relatively easy and sure enough, it has been," Klembara said on Thursday.

Lourdes (22-5) is now one of the top four teams in the Eastern region after an exciting 57-42 win over Girard College on Wednesday night, a game in which the Red Raiders controlled from start to finish. That comes off the heels of a 51-29 rout of Upper Dauphin in the first round of the PIAA Class A state tournament.

You could say the road as been slightly easy thus far.

Lourdes never trailed against Upper Dauphin in the first round and only trailed against Girard College for 1:14 early on in the first quarter before building up a double-digit lead relatively quickly.

Up next today (1 p.m., East Pennsboro High School, for Lourdes is District 5 runner-up Southern Fulton (23-2), led by a 1,000-point scorer in junior guard Macey Hollenshead.

"They're probably as good a team as we've faced all year long," Klembara said of Southern Fulton. "They're probably as well coached a team as we have faced all year long (too). They play a 1-3-1 defense which we do not see very much, so it's taken us (Thursday and Friday) practicing against it so our girls feel very comfortable in the way we want to attack it.

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