By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
MOUNT CARMEL -- Southern Columbia had largely kept Paige Hornung in check in the first half.
Within three possessions in the third quarter, though, Hornung reversed her fortune and kick-started the rest of the Red Tornadoes, as the senior guard finished with six 3-pointers Saturday.
Led by Hornung's 18, Mount Carmel held off a tough Southern Columbia squad, 47-41, at Mount Carmel H.S.
With the win, Mount Carmel remained in first place in Heartland-II with a visit from second-place Warrior Run looming Tuesday evening.
"We have to take one game at a time, not look too far and take care of what we need to take care of," Mount Carmel coach Lisa Varano said.
The Red Tornadoes (14-3, 9-1 HAC-II) and the Tigers (12-7, 5-6) met for the second annual Coaches for Cancer Basketball Classic during which proceeds from in-game fundraisers were donated to the American Cancer Society.
The Tigers led by three, 27-24, in the third quarter before Hornung found her stroke. Finding an opening in the corner, Hornung drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game but she was far from finished.
Mount Carmel's next two possessions ended the same way as the tying possession with Hornung finding open space and connecting from deep, giving the Red Tornadoes a 33-27 lead.
"Paige hitting all those threes gave us big momentum and we just kind of kept going," senior Ali Varano said.
"I couldn't do it without the help of my team," Hornung added.
Mackenzie Chaundy answered with a jumper for the Tigers but once Hornung gave Mount Carmel the lead with her 3-point barrage, the Tigers were unable to pull closer than four points.
Both teams spent much of the first half diving for every loose ball, and that level of intensity did not drop in the second half with neither team willing to give an inch.