The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

December 13, 2012

Scott Dudinskie's girls basketball column: Green Dragons shoot for No. 1

They filed out of the visitor's locker room and fanned across the gym floor, more than a dozen Lewisburg girls in varying post-game sweats ensembles with one striking similarity: electric blue Crocs.

It's a team-bonding thing, senior guard Maria Kelleher confirmed, and that's good because after their season-opening win at Shamokin the Green Dragons certainly don't need bright footwear for people to notice them.

Lewisburg built an eight-point halftime lead Monday on the strength of Kelleher's otherworldly 16-point second quarter, then weathered an Indians' rally that trimmed a 10-point margin to three early in the fourth period.

"It's always great to start off with a win, but especially Shamokin," said Lewisburg coach Phil Stamm. "That's a really good team, and we knew we would have to really battle and play well to win."

The Dragons were not perfect by any stretch (29 percent shooting, 20 turnovers) but Kelleher carried them when senior post Lois Lesher sat with early foul trouble, and others stepped up in the second half as Kelleher commanded a defensive shadow.

Those at the Purple Palace definitely got an eyeful, particularly a small group from Mount Carmel seated front and center in the stands.

The Red Tornadoes likely made the trip to get a look at Lewisburg, which gave them a tussle in last year's district quarterfinals. In fact, Mount Carmel won by a single-digit margin in just six of 27 wins last season, and Lewisburg and South Williamsport were the only teams to do it twice.

In that district quarterfinal, the Dragons chopped a 17-point second-quarter deficit to five by halftime, and then played within a bucket of the Tornadoes in each of the last two periods. Lesher and Kelleher fouled out three minutes apart in the fourth, and Lewisburg lost 55-46.

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