Hazleton Area Girls Fall To Neshaminy
BETHLEHEM — Neshaminy continued its mastery over the Hazleton Area girls basketball program on Tuesday.
Playing a near flawless game at both ends of the floor and gaining separation with a huge second quarter, the Redskins rolled past the Cougars, 70-40, in the ongoing PIAA Class 6A Tournament.
Neshaminy (25-3) moves on to the quarterfinal round for the third time in four years, ending the Cougars’ season in the state tourney each time along the way.
“They’re good and we knew that,” said Hazleton Area coach Joe Gavio. “We were right there, then we had the bad moment.”
The District 1 runners-up inched out to a 15-14 lead through one quarter as six different Redskins hit the scoring column.
Hazleton Area (21-7), the District 2 champs, kept right with them, getting four points each from Virginia Yurchak, Faith Grula and Olivia Wolk. Kyra Antolick passed inside to Grula for a layup to bring the Cougars within one by quarter’s end.
That’s when the Redskins turned things up a notch and took control.
Senior Allison Harvey started the second quarter with a deep trey, one of five she had in the game, igniting the Neshaminy offense.
The Redskins knocked down 10 of their 14 second-quarter shots, including three triples from Harvey.
Senior Brooke Mullin, a Bucknell recruit and niece of Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, added six points in the quarter, and Emily Tantala had five.
To add fuel to the fire, the Cougars committed nine of their 17 turnovers in the period and managed just two baskets. Neshaminy’s 26-6 explosion turned what was a close game into a 21-point halftime cushion, 41-20.
“We had three or four turnovers in a row and they got up by 10. Then we were trying to do things too quickly,” Gavio said.
After shooting 64 percent from the field in the first half, the Redskins hardly cooled dow in the second.
Harvey answered Yurchak’s 3-pointer with one of her own to start the third quarter, and Neshaminy kept its lead above 20.
Although Marissa Trivelpiece score two baskets in the paint and Brooke Boretski and Yurchak added inside scores, Neshaminy kept scoring at the other end.
Kelli Kowalick’s putback and two late free throws pushed the Redskins’ lead to 23 (55-32) heading to the fourth.
Six quick points to start the fourth quarter dashed any hope of a Cougar comeback, as Neshaminy punched its ticket to the quarterfinals for a second consecutive season.
“They made us look worse than we are, but they’re that good,” Gavio said. “Harvey lights us up, and they can all shoot the ball.”
Harvey finished with 15 points, Mullin had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Kristin Curley checked in with 10 points. Eight different Neshaminy players scored at least six points, and the Redskins shot a sizzling 26 of 46 from the field.
Trivelpiece led the Cougars with 15 points and five rebounds despite foul trouble. Yurchak capped her career with 11 points. She is one of seven seniors who will move on, but the only starter Hazleton Area loses.
“I like the way we played. Our kids kept playing hard,” Gavio said. “We’ve got a lot of people coming back. This is a good learning experience for our younger kids.
“Hopefully we’ll be back in this spot next year.”
Hazleton Area (40)
M. Trivelpiece 6 1-2 15, V. Yurchak 4 2-2 11, O. Wolk 1 3-4 5, F. Grula 2 0-0 4, B. Boretski 1 1-2 3, D. Garnett 1 0-0 2, K. Antolick 0 0-0 0, M. LaBuda 0 0-0 0, M. Fay 0 0-0 0, A. Holodick 0 0-0 0, A. Zumar 0 0-0 0, K. Lipinski 0 0-0 0, Totals 15 7-10 40.
A. Harvey 5 0-0 15, B. Mullin 5 2-2 12, K. Curley 4 2-2 10, K. Kowalick 3 2-5 8, E. Tantala 3 0-0 6, O. Scotti 2 2-2 6, A. McCoy 2 2-2 6, M. Ansel 3 0-0 6, S. Tryon 0 1-2 1, M. Lewis 0 0-0 0, Totals 27 11-15 70.
Hazleton Area 14 6 12 8—40
Neshaminy 15 26 14 15—70
3-point goals: M. Trivelpiece (Haz) 2, V. Yurchak (Haz) 1, A. Harvey (Nesh) 5.
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