By Scott Dudinskie
The Daily Item
From the first game to the last, Christina Perles made her only season at Mount Carmel one to remember.
The senior forward, who played her previous high school seasons at Lourdes Regional, meshed perfectly on a team coming off the most successful season in program history.
With her strong-yet-unselfish play, the Red Tornadoes three-peated as league and district champions.
Perles was the Valley's top scorer at 17.4 points per game, but she scored within the flow of an offense that also saw juniors Ali Varano and Ana Raybuck average 14.9 and 9.2 points, respectively.
When the stakes were highest, though, she could carry Mount Carmel if need be.
Perles scored 26 points in a pair of early season showdowns with Heartland Athletic Conference-Division II contenders Lewisburg and Loyalsock. She dropped 27 in a nonleague win over Nativity BVM, and poured in 25 in a marquee game win over Minersville; she also pulled 10 rebounds against both Schuylkill League opponents.
In the Red Tornadoes' state playoff opener against Wilkes-Barre GAR, Perles scored a season-high 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting in just three quarters of play. It was a brilliant performance in a remarkable season.
"I'm the only senior out of our starters," she said, "and I just really didn't want it to be my last game."
Perles, the daughter of Rick and Deb Perles of Kulpmont, became a starter midway through her freshman year and totaled 979 points while helping Lourdes to three consecutive District 4-A titles. The 979 points rank 12th on Lourdes all-time list. She became the 10th Mount Carmel girl to surpass 1,000 points in the season opener, and finished her career with 1,465 points.
In addition to her team-high scoring average, Perles averaged 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals. She also converted 77 percent of her free throws, sinking 169 of 221 attempts.