The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

February 12, 2013

Shamokin hands Milton third straight loss

MILTON -- Olivia Bonshock and Kelsey Yacko typically create a lot of havoc on the basketball court.

Monday, the Shamokin duo created a bunch of chaos both on and off the court.

The Indians forwards, whose athleticism and quickness pose matchup nightmares, combined for 23 points, 16 rebounds, 10 steals and seven blocks in a pivotal 32-26 win at Milton.

"That was the game right there," said Milton coach Aaron Slusser, whose team slipped from first place in its division with a third consecutive loss.

The result threw into disarray the Heartland Athletic Conference's plan to stage its first ever tournament featuring the three division winners and the next best team, regardless of division.

Shamokin moved into first place in HAC-I at 10-3 (12-9 overall), a win ahead of Danville (15-4, 9-3). Those teams are slated to play a make-up game Friday, which would determine the division champion if Danville beats Midd-West tonight. However, Heartland officials planned the girls semifinals for Wednesday night at Mifflinburg H.S.

The conference would have been in the clear had Milton won last night. The Black Panthers (12-10, 10-4) would have remained in first place, and they held a tiebreaker for sweeping Danville during the regular season. Milton would have joined Mount Carmel (HAC-II), Benton (HAC-III) and, likely, Muncy in Wednesday's semifinals.

Now, as Shamokin athletic director Rick Kashner said following Monday's game, "everything is on the table" in terms of finding a solution to play the girls tournament. The only option not being considered during today's discussions is cancelling the event.

Again, Bonshock and Yacko are primarily to blame.

"For those two, by far, this was the best game they played all year," said Shamokin coach Bill Callahan. "They did a real nice job."

Milton was on fire to start Monday's game, hitting five of its first eight shots (four of them perimeter jumpers) for an 11-6 lead. Emily Baker, who led the Panthers with 11 points and 11 boards, halted a brief Shamokin run with a pair of free throws to make it 13-9, but Milton then went 5 1/2 minutes without scoring.

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