The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 14, 2014

Late spurt lifts Green Dragons to win

Late spurt lifts Green Dragons to win


Daily Item

---- — By Shawn Wood

For The Daily Item

MILTON -- In basketball, runs are going to occur for both teams.

It comes down to which team makes a late run and holds on to a lead that leads to victory.

Trailing by a point a halftime, 16-15, Lewisburg stopped Milton's 6-0 run to open the third quarter and with 2:29 left, went on a 10-0 run of their own in a 90-second span to take a 25-24 lead on an Emily Conrad's jumper.

It was enough to help the Green Dragons turn the momentum around and would propel them to even their record at 6-6 with a 42-31 Heartland Athletic Conference crossover win on Monday night in Milton.

Conrad and Akilah McFadden led Lewisburg in scoring with 10 points each.

The game was nearly four minutes old when Kasey Conrad scored the first points of the game for either team as she went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line to give the Green Dragons a 1-0 lead.

With the game tied at six heading into the second quarter, the Black Panthers (6-6) took their first lead of the game at 10-9 as when freshman Taylor White hustled to a lose ball, drove the lane and was fouled, with the basket counting. She made the free throw to complete a 3-point play.

Junior Brooke Swartz led Milton with 14 points, the only player in double figures. As a team, Milton was 5-of-10 from the free-throw line.

"When we have a team down, we have to keep the pedal down, and we didn't do that, we don't quite know how to do that yet," Milton coach Aaron Slusser said.

It was the third straight loss for Milton which was coming off a loss to Jersey Shore for the first time ever in the six years that Slusser has been the head coach. Milton is 1-3 in January after a 5-3 December.

It was a passionate halftime speech from Phil Stamm that got Lewisburg going in the second half as the Green Dragons outscored Milton 27-15.

"During halftime, coach Stamm got to us by throwing the clipboard down in the locker room and he got to us emotionally," E. Conrad said. "As a team, we don't want to let him down and we knew that we had to fight and this is one of the games we knew we had to fight for to get into districts."

The third-quarter run by Milton helped pushed the lead to 22-15 when turnovers, which plagued both teams all night, led to two low-post baskets on back-to-back possessions by Lewisburg as Kirsten Blakeslee made two straight baskets off the inbounds play from McFadden.

It's the same play that the Black Panthers also run.

"We run the exact same play and that's an example right there of a young team and I tell them this is what they are going to do against it and yet, they still broke open on it."

Slusser started three freshmen on the floor on Monday night.

Milton made one more run late in the third to take a 26-25 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Black Panthers were outscored 17-5.

McFadden drove the right side and hit a layup to give Lewisburg the lead for good at 27-25 as part of a 5-0 run to start the quarter.

"Akilah is one of the quickest girls I've coached as she lulls you to sleep because she'll go slow and then put on a quick burst," Lewisburg coach Stamm said. "When she does that, she has a lot of quickness and that can sometimes catch the other team off guard.

"I thought in the first half and even to start the third, I thought Milton was out-playing us and out-hustling us to loose balls and getting every 50-50 rebound. We needed to pick up the intensity. We needed this win," Stamm added.

Lewisburg had its biggest lead of the game, prior to the final score, at 39-29 with 3:13 left in the game when K. Conrad made both free throws. The Green Dragons went 13-for-17 from the line.