Lehighton's comeback falls just short
It makes perfect sense.
Two teams with a combined two victories played one another last night and they competed as hard as they could right down to the last shot as Stroudsburg (2-5,1-2) defeated Lehighton (1-6,1-2) 36-34 in a Mountain Valley Conference game.
The energy from the Lady Mountaineers and the Lady Indians left both coaches feeling proud of their respective teams. Stroudsburg sealed the win when an Alli Rossino's three point shot banged off the backboard with 2.8 seconds left.
"We had a couple of tough losses this week," said Lehighton's coach Chris Kasian. "I asked the girls to give it their all tonight and all nine that played did just that. I could not be happier with their effort. We were diving for loose balls and we battled all night against a team that fought just as hard."
Fortunately for the Lady Indians Stroudsburg did not shoot the ball well at the start of the ball game. The Mountaineers missed their first eleven shots until a layup off a steal by Dominique Jefferson put Stroudsburg team on the board. Their only other score in the first quarter was a three pointer by Lexi Meisse with 53 seconds left as Lehighton's man to man defense halted one scoring attempt after another. Taylor Yurasits' five points led the Indians to a 7-5 edge at the eight minute mark.
The second quarter was all Stroudsburg as Jenny Faust's six points pushed her team to a seven point lead at the half.
"We worked a double high set in the first half and we were able to work the ball inside pretty well," said Stroudsburg coach Ed Hagy.
The Lady Mountaineers continued to surge early in the third quarter with a 7-0 run until Emily Shelly finally scored for Lehighton at the four minute mark. But then, after Stroudsburg opened up a 26-13 lead, Lehighton, led by a team effort on defense and some timely baskets, reduced the deficit to eight as the entered the fourth.
Again, Kasian praised his team's efforts. "Our 1-3-1 trap started to give them trouble on offense. Yet at times we needed the girls to close the trap and we would have created even more turnovers."
With that said, Stroudsburg still turned the ball over nine times in the final period as Lehighton, on a basket by Yurasits, closed the gap to a deuce with five minutes to play.
The Mountaineers would hold the lead for the rest of the quarter and Stroudsburg's Jefferson hit on one of two foul shots to give her team a two point lead with 4.7 seconds left. That set up the final attempt to tie or win the game for the Lady Indians.
"Our play was to win it with a three," said Kasian. "We put two guards at half court while our two forwards were to box out for a putback. We got a shot off so that's all I could ask for."
The Tribe was led by Taylor Yurasits' 11 points.
Hagy 2-2-4-7, Neal 1-0-0-2, McClaren 1-3-7-5, Jefferson 2-1-2-5, Myles 2-0-1-4, Cantens 0-0-0-0, Meisse 2-0-1-5, Faust 3-0-0-6, Browning 0-2-2-2. TOTALS: 13-8-17-36.
Rossino 0-0-0-0, Shelly 4-0-2-8, Fital 1-0-1-2, Yurasits 4-2-2-11, Blasiak 0-0-0-0, Durishin 1-2-4-4, Thompson 3-3-4-9, Rehrig 0-0-0-0, Cordova 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 13-7-13-34.
Stroudsburg 5 14 9 8 36
Lehighton 7 6 7 14 34
Three pointers: S-Hagy-1, Meisse-1. L- Yurasits-1.