SUNBURY — With just a few games remaining before the postseason, Faith Callahan and her Southern Columbia teammates are trying to get ready for the playoffs.

Despite a slow start Monday night, Southern Columbia cranked up its defense and pulled away to a 62-47 victory over Shikellamy in Heartland Athletic Conference crossover girls basketball.

Southern Columbia (13-8) was balance offensively — Callahan scored 10 points, while Ally Griscavage (13), Loren Gehret (13) and Ava Novak (12) also reached double figures — and also enjoyed a commanding 44-24 rebounding edge over the smaller Braves.

Southern Columbia committed six of its 19 turnovers in the first quarter while falling behind, but the Tigers limited their mistakes the rest of the way.

“We can’t get off to slow starts,” Faith Callahan said. “In districts, you lose, you go home. You don’t have time to go, ‘OK, we’ll get them next time.’

“We have to start locking down from the beginning, not waiting two, three quarters to get in our groove. We need to get it right away.”

Jordan Moten dropped in 15 points and Tori Smith added 13 for Shikellamy, which dropped its second game in a row — even though the Braves led 21-12 after one.

Southern Columbia applied three-quarter-court pressure in the second quarter, which forced the host Braves (14-7) into mistakes of their own.

Foul problems also plagued Lew Dellegrotti’s squad as Moten and Emma Bronowicz were assessed three first-half personals, while Smith and Brooke Snyder were tagged for two. Getting to the line paid off, as Southern Columbia was 9-of-12 from the stripe.

Faith Callahan buried a 3-ball just before the horn to cap a timely 10-0 run, giving the Tigers a 29-28 lead at halftime.

“It was electric in there,” Faith Callahan said of the locker room. “We were all so happy because it was kind of like the icing on the cake for the good second quarter that we played.

“To end it like that was great.”

Southern Columbia coach Bill Callahan said: “I thought after the first quarter we really played well and controlled the tempo. Plus, we took the lead at half. I thought we did a nice job in the second half controlling the game.”

While Smith’s stickback early in the second half pushed the Braves back in front, Southern responded with a 9-0 run. Down 38-30, Shikellamy never recovered.

Although Wisloski and Griscavage (11 boards) sat down with serious foul issues in the third quarter, Southern Columbia maintained its effectiveness as Novak scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half. She also grabbed seven rebounds before fouling out.

“Ava played a super game,” said Bill Callahan.

The Tigers pleased by thei offensive balance, and their defense.

“It’s district time,” Faith Callahan said. “We have to lock down, get ready to go, run our offenses, play lock-down defense and we’ll be good to go.”

SOUTHERN COLUMBIA 62, SHIKELLAMY 47

Southern Columbia (13-8) 62

Faith Callahan 3 2-2 10; Ally Griscavage 6 1-1 13; Morgan Marks 1 2-3 4; Loren Gehret 3 6-8 12; Rilyn Wisloski 3 3-4 9; Ava Novak 6 0-0 12; Colby Bernhard 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 14-18 62.

3-point goals: Callahan 2.

Did not score: Mackenzie Palacz, Grace Callahan, Maddie Griscavage.

Shikellamy (14-7) 47

Jordan Moten 6 1-2 15; Emma Bronowicz 3 0-1 6; Tori Smith 6 1-2 13; Tori Scheller 1 2-3 4; Brooke Snyder 1 0-0 3; Averi Dodge 3 0-0 6. Totals 20 4-8 47.

3-point goals: Moten 2, Snyder.

Did not score: Paige Fausey, Melanie Minnier, Alisyn Heller, Taylor Sees.

Score by quarters

Southern Columbia`12`17`19`14 — 62

Shikellamy`21`7`6`13 — 47

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