The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

March 8, 2014

Girls basketball: Scranton Prep's pressure is too much for Danville

SCRANTON — Scranton Prep’s pressure defense often prevented Danville from getting its offense started.

The District 2 champion Classics needed that effort in transition because once the Ironmen set up offensively, Scranton Prep was unable to stop Amber Renz.

Scranton Prep scored the game’s first eight points off steals — all in the first 80 seconds — and never trailed on the way to a 60-40 victory in a PIAA Class AAA first-round state playoff game at Marywood University on Saturday night.

Danville and Renz still had reason to celebrate when the game and season ended.

Renz received balloons and a game ball before posing for dozens of pictures to commemorate the 1,000th career point which the sophomore scored early in the fourth quarter.

“There are a lot of good things to come from her,” Danville coach Steve Moser said after Renz scored 25 points by going 6-for-12 from the floor, including 2-for-3 on 3-pointers and 11-for-12 from the line. “The nice thing about it is she’s always willing to learn.

“She works at it all year long and she’s very good with her teammates.”

Renz led Danville to a 21-5 record and helped make a competitive contest out of a game that had the makings of a rout early.

“She rose to the occasion,” Moser said. “It was nice to see her get (the 1,000th point) against a good team like Scranton Prep.”

Scranton Prep led by 12 twice in the first quarter, but a Renz 3-pointer cut the deficit to 24-17 with 5:49 left in the half. After Paige Harris scored the first Danville basket, Renz scored her team’s next 16 points.

The Classics eventually pulled away in the second half, but Renz reached the 1,000-point mark on an inside move, off a Harris pass, with 7:18 to play to make it 44-32.

“We just had to calm down,” Renz said. “Once we got past that pressure, we worked it and were able to score.

“It was just a little too much to come back from. They have five amazing players.”

Holy Cross recruit Tricia Byrne led that group. Byrne had five of the eight points in the opening burst and finished with 24 points and eight steals.

Scranton Prep’s entire starting lineup produced steals in the first quarter. The Classics forced 18 first-half turnovers and 26 for the game — off 21 steals.

“Their pressure is very, very good,” Moser said. “We dug ourselves a hole and we couldn’t climb back out.”

Scranton Prep improves to 26-1 and advances to face Bethlehem Catholic.

Harris finished with seven points, five assists and four steals for Danville, which was without starting guard Sara Naessig because of a concussion suffered in the District 4 semifinals.

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