The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 10, 2013

Girls basketball: Confident Seals rally to beat rival Braves

Confident Seals rally to beat rival Braves

Daily Item

---- — By Todd Hummel

For The Daily Item

SUNBURY -- Selinsgrove coach Tim Lauver has had to play more psychologist this season than basketball coach in his first season at the helm of the Seals.

"We're pretty athletic. We can play some basketball," Lauver said. "We just lack basketball confidence sometimes on the court."

That was Lauver's big emphasis in the locker room before Selinsgrove took the court on the road against Shikellamy.

"The first two things I wrote on the chalkboard pregame was 'confidence in ourselves and confidence in each other,' " Lauver said.

The Seals certainly had every chance to have their confidence waver on Wednesday night. Leading most of the game, the Braves looked to have the game won on two Kierra Smith foul shots with six seconds left in the game.

However, Kiersten Craig-Sovic made a layup at the buzzer to send the game into overtime and then followed that with five of the Seals' seven points in overtime as Selinsgrove notched a 55-51 win over the Braves in a Heartland Athletic Conference-Division I contest.

"People didn't think we would be very good this year and we wanted to prove we can compete (in the league)," Craig-Sovic said. "This is a big confidence boost for us and it will really help in the long run."

Selinsgrove (5-5) improves to 3-1 in the HAC-I, remaining one-game behind undefeated Shamokin. Shikellamy drops to 6-4 overall, 3-2 HAC-I.

Shikellamy led 41-38 with 3:55 left in the game after an Alexis Angstadt drive, but Jess Kerstetter grabbed an offensive rebound and converted a three-point play to tie the game at 41-41. Selinsgrove would get the lead twice late in regulation before the Braves would answer.

The Seals led 46-45 with 21 seconds left after Craig-Sovic made a free throw, but Angstadt made one of two foul shots with 12.8 seconds left to tie the game. Angstadt then stole the ball. She made a pretty pass inside for an open layup, Selinsgrove's Nikki Krebs was able to get back for a blocked shot. Angstadt was then fouled on the ensuing inbounds play, but missed both foul shots.

Smith grabbed the offensive rebound, was fouled and canned both foul shots to give the Braves a 48-46 lead with 6.1 seconds left. Selinsgrove pushed the ball up the floor and took a timeout with 2.7 seconds left in regulation.

"The other day, I really worked on post moves in practice," Craig-Sovic said. "Coach gave me the chance to show what I worked on."

Craig-Sovic was able to catch the entry pass from Mackenzie Herman and use a little spin move for the game-tying bucket at the buzzer.

Craig-Sovic scored the first five points of overtime for the Seals as Shikellamy managed just one Angstadt field goal in the overtime. Shikellamy would cut the lead to 53-51 with 46.2 seconds left but an easy layup by Krebs after the Seals broke the Shikellamy press clinched the game with 24 seconds left.

"We didn't make layups or foul shots," Shikellamy coach Lou Dellegrotti said. "We had our chances to win it at the end. We gave Selinsgrove a lot of chances (to win) and give them credit, they took advantage."

Craig-Sovic led the Seals with 19 points. Kerstetter added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Selinsgrove.

Angstadt finished with 27 points and 10 steals. Smith chipped in 10 points and nine boards.