---- — By Scott Dudinskie
The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- There's something very deceiving about Alexis Angstadt.
At first glance, particularly from a distance, the Shikellamy senior appears rather harmless. She's often the smallest girl on the basketball court, which belies the amount of damage she can do.
The closer you get and the longer you watch her, the more you notice her destructive side, her ability to turn opponents' worlds upside down and crush their hearts.
Saturday afternoon, Angstadt was at her ruinous best. She scored 12 of her game-high 20 points in the second half as the Braves rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to beat previously undefeated Danville, 46-37.
"Her penetration in the second half just flat-out killed us. No ifs, ands or buts about it," said Ironmen coach Steve Moser. "Give her all the credit in the world."
Danville, a few days after erasing a 15-point third-quarter deficit to shock Southern Columbia, pulled away from Shikellamy in the last two minutes of the half Saturday. The Ironmen scored on three consecutive possessions for a 7-0 run and a 23-15 lead at the break.
For its part, Shikellamy shot 23 percent from the floor (5 of 22) in the half, committed nine turnovers and went scoreless for a 6 1/2-minute span bridging the first two periods.
"We always know how we want to play, but sometimes we don't necessarily do that," said Angstadt. "We came out in the second half with a good mind set, knowing this is what we wanted to do, what we wanted to accomplish, and we finally did what we said we were going to do."
Angstadt literally led the charge. She attacked the basket on three of the Braves' first four possessions of the second half, scoring twice. Cory Yerger followed her lead with a couple scoring drives of her own.
Shikellamy (6-3, 2-1 HAC-I), which hadn't scored more than 10 points in either of the first two quarters, ripped off 10 points in less than four minutes of the third.
"It was just patience and taking advantage of what we were doing," said Braves coach Lew Dellegrotti.
Yerger's third 3-pointer (of four) gave Shik a lead with 2:10 left in the third, right about the time the Ironmen began a 5 1/2-minute scoreless stretch. By the time Erica Heath answered Yerger's fourth trey with a putback, ending Danville's drought at the 5:00 mark of the fourth, the Braves were rolling.
Angstadt assisted Yerger on a flash down the lane, and Raven Fatool scored deep in the paint for a 42-35 lead with 2:42 to play. Angstadt tacked on four consecutive free throws in the final 65 seconds.
"When you see your teammates busting their tails, working hard, you get the same mentality and you want to go even harder, just so you know you're doing your part," said Angstadt, a gleam in her eye and a tiny piercing on the right side of her nose. "I think we had five girls out there working hard. I put a lot on myself, but I know I have four other girls backing me up.
Angstadt hit 20 points for the third straight game (and third time in four days) to boost her season average to 15.2. She's unofficially 106 points from 1,000 in her career.
"She's been a stud for four years," said Dellegrotti. "I have total confidence in her."
Yerger, who scored 19 points, canned two early 3-pointers for a 9-3 Shikellamy lead. The Braves then went more than 6 minutes without scoring, but when they finally did, Angstadt's 3-pointer gave them the lead, 12-11.
Danville (5-1, 2-1) shot 29 percent in the first half and 30 in the second. Shik shot 50 percent after halftime.
"When they make (shots), you can't rebound and run. When we made our move (in the first half), we rebounded and ran," said Moser. "And I honestly didn't think their zone would bother us but it did."
Heath, one of Danville's three first-year starters, had a team-high 16 points with seven rebounds. Freshman Amber Renz had seven points and 12 boards (eight in the second quarter) off the bench. The pair combined for eight of the Ironmen's 14 second-half points.
"I wanted to go back to man (defense) with 2 1/2 minutes to go, take the threes away," said Dellegrotti, "but I was wavering and (assistant coach Dave Ritchie) said, 'Hey, they haven't scored against this zone.'"