HYDE — It wasn’t a thing of beauty, particularly in the first half, but the Brookville Lady Raiders got rolling after the break to run away from Chestnut Ridge, 70-39, in the District 5-9 Class 3A subregional championship game Tuesday night at Clearfield Area High School.
Brookville (19-5) got off to a slow start, particularly shooting the basketball, against a lady Lions squad that came into the game with a 3-18 record. That poor shooting in the first eight minutes allowed Ridge to hang around at 8-6 despite the Lady Lions committing four times as many turnovers (8-2) as the opening period.
It remained a one-point game (11-10) with three minutes gone in the second quarter, but the turnover bug continued to plague the Lady Lions. Those miscues ultimately led to some easy buckets for Brookville, which got the Lady Raiders going offensively.
And once Brookville hit its stride, it was good night for the Lady Lions as Brookville dominated the final two and half quarters.
Brookville used a 17-6 spurt over the final five minutes of the first half to take a 28-17 lead into the break. The Lady Raiders then stormed out of the locker room, outscoring Ridge 23-8 in the third quarter to take a commanding 51-25 lead after three quarters.
The Lady Raiders pushed the lead to as many as 33 points (68-35) late in the fourth quarter as the teams started to empty the benches before coming away with the 70-39 victory.
Chestnut Ridge finished with nearly as many turnovers (38) as points (39).
Brookville finished with a balanced offensive attack, putting four players into double figures. The Johnson Twins (Morgan and Madison) each scored 15 points, as did Marcy Schindler. Lauren Hergert added 10 points.
“It was a pretty sluggish start tonight,” said Brookville coach Mark Powell. “But, we had that little spurt right before the half, then came out in the third quarter the way I had hoped we’d start the game. It was a better second half.
“I enjoyed the balanced scoring because that makes it more difficult to play us. At this time of year it’s about winning and moving on though. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win and nice to get this first one out of the way.”
Ridge’s Makayla Weyant scored the first four points of the game before Brookville got four straight from Morgan Johnson. The teams traded scores from there, with a hoop by Kira Powell giving Brookville the two-point lead after one quarter.
The back-and-forth game continued into the second quarter, with teams again trading scores. Brookville came out of that sequence with a slim 11-10 advantage just before the 5-minute mark.
That’s when Brookville started to break the game open. Morgan Johnson scored inside with 4:35 left in the half, then drained a 3-pointer just 14 seconds later following a steal by Schindler. Those five quick points sparked the Lady Raiders run to end the half that gave Brookville a 28-17 after two quarters.
Morgan Johnson scored eight of her 15 points in the second quarter, while Schindler added five in the quarter.
Madison Johnson and Hyde traded 3-pointers to start the third quarter before a 9-0 spurt by Brookville made it a 20-point game at 40-20. Schindler, Lexis Hatzinikolas and Kira Powell all had hoops in that run, while Morgan Johnson completed an old-fashion 3-point play.
Hyde ended that spurt with her second trey of the quarter, but Brookville promptly ripped off an 11-4 run to end the third to take a commanding 51-25 lead after three quarters. Hyde was the lone bright spot for Ridge, as she scored a game-high 20 points in the loss. Fifteen of those points came in the second half.
“We did lose the shooter (Hyde) out there a lot tonight, and that’s something we can’t afford to have happen,” said Powell. “But, against everybody else we did a nice job and our pressure in the second half did force a bunch of turnovers. That created a bunch of easy buckets for us.”
Brookville, which scored the final nine points of the third, netted the first five of the fourth on a Hergert basket and 3-point play by Madison Johnson.
Ridge then got back-to-back 3-pointers from Hyde and Weyant. However, eight straight points by the Lady Raiders gave Brookville its largest lead of the night at 33 points (68-35) with just over two minutes to play before it came away with the 41-point victory to reach the state playoffs for the second straight year.
Madison Johnson posted 13 of her 15 points and Schindler 10 of her 15 in the second half, while Hergert dropped in six of her 10 in the final two quarters. Hatzinikolas had all six of her points after the break.
Next up for Brookville in the third-place team from District 6 in the opening round of the state playoffs on Friday, March 8.
Central Cambria plays Tyrone in that third-place game Thursday night. Central Cambria lost to Penns Valley, 53-45 in one D-9 semifinal game Tuesday, while Tyrone fell to Penn Cambria, 61-36.