When two teams who have struggled to win three games between them meet on the hardwood, a very competitive game is a usual expectation.
The Lady Cardinals of Pocono Mountain East, however, proved otherwise as they raced to an 11- 0 run from the tip off and never looked back in a 34-23 win over the Lady Tribe of Lehighton last night in a MVC game.
With the victory, PME avenged a three- point loss to Lehighton on December 14.
The Lady Cards first quarter play was helped by Lehighton's turning the ball over six times in addition to shooting 0-7 from the floor. The Indian's Amy Smith finally broke her team's scoring drought on a jump shot with 58 seconds to go in the quarter.
Lehighton coach Ray Bressi was not pleased with his team's first half play.
"PME set the tone when they came out and played with more energy. In the entire first half, we never matched their energy."
At the start of the second quarter, the Tribe held the ball for almost three minutes, but failed to score.
"Holding the ball that long was not our strategy," said Bressi. "We simply lost confidence because we were down by so many and we forgot how to play the game of basketball."
Kasaundra Barclay's jumper and two free throws from Tiffany Thompson were the only points Lehighton could muster, but they did hold the Lady Cards to only two baskets before the break.
PME coach Rose Haller was happy with her team's performance as her squad ended a seven game losing streak.
"We have started to figure out how to compete and to work the ball inside where the results are always positive. We don't give up in any game despite our record."
Lehighton had no answer for the Cards' Alpreshia Parker who shot over 50 per cent at the low post to score 10 points on the night.
In the second half, Lehighton played PME evenly.
"I thought Thompson posted up very well," said Bressi. "She had several good shots; unfortunately, not many fell for her."
In the fourth quarter, the Tribe threatened to make it a game when Amy Smith sank two foul shots to bring her team to within six points at 28-22 with 1:36 to go, but that would be the closest Lehighton would get. The Cardinals' Amber Reisenwitz calmly sank nine of ten free throws during the final six minutes to keep putting her team at a margin that was never overcome.. PME closed out the game with a 6-1 run to win by 11, the same advantage they had over Lehighton at the start of the game.
"As much as I was disappointed with our first half effort, I was very pleased how we played in the last 16 minutes,' said Bressi. " We got their lead down to six, but we just couldn't score off our press and that's why we fell short."
Pocono Mountain East
Mader 1-0-0-2, Ruggerio 3-2-6-9, Parker 4-2-2-10, Reisenwitz 1-9-10-11, Smith 1-0-0-2, C. Haller 0-0-0-0, M. Haller 0-0-0-0. TOTALS:10-13-18-34.
Rossino 1-0-0-2, Shelly 2-1-1-5, Durishin 1-1-3-3, Smith 1-3-4-5, Thompson 1-4-4-6, Barclay 1-0-0-2, Fital 0-0-0-0, Yurasits 0-0-0-0, Blasiak 0-0-0-0, Rehrig 0-0-0-0, Cordova 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 7-9-13-23.
PM East 11 4 6 13 - 34
Lehighton 2 4 4 13 - 23
Three pointers: PME - Ruggerio 1, Leh - none.