BROCKWAY — The DuBois and Brockway girls basketball teams held their 9th Annual Pink Game Monday — the one night a year when the game on the floor takes a backseat to the cause off the floor in supporting the Hahne Regional Cancer and all those affected by cancer in any way.
The two schools and their communities came together to raise $18,692, bringing the grand total raised in the event’s nine-year history to just under $134,000.
On the court, it was visiting DuBois that took home the 39-30 victory, thanks in large part to free throw shooting.
Both teams made just 10 baskets in the game, with Brockway hitting five 3-pointers and DuBois two treys. However, DuBois went 19 of 28 at the line, while the Lady Rovers were just 5 of 9.
Lady Beaver senior Chelsea DeSalve led that effort at the foul line, going 9 of 14 — including 6 of 10 in the fourth quarter — to help seal her team’s victory. DeSalve finished with a team-high 13 points to help the Lady Beavers (9-6) end a two-game losing skid.
DuBois needed all those free throws, as Brockway held the Lady Beavers to a single basket in both the second and fourth quarter. DuBois returned that favor to the Lady Rover, who had just one basket during a 5-4 second quarter that gave DuBois a 19-11 lead at the half.
Abby Guiher added 11 points for DuBois.
Danielle Wood led Brockway with a game-hight points, while Morgan Lindemuth added nine points on three 3-pointers.
“Obviously, every win is a good win at this point,” said DuBois coach Keith Kriner. “Since we’re trying to get to that magic number (.500 record) to make the playoffs, every win is important. But again, our Achilles heel for the year has been not able to finish.
“When we get that lead, we just can’t extend it and keep it because we go back to making the same mistakes we make over and over again. As a coaching staff, we just feel there is so much tension with our team (right now). When they play loose, they play so much better. We’ve been trying to figure out how to get over that hump, and just can’t do it right now.
“We knew they were going to come after us and try to foul us and put us on the line there at the end, and Chelsea is one of the girls who we want to have the ball in her hands at that time. We didn’t make as many (foul shots) as i would have liked, but we made enough to win the game.
“A night like tonight puts things in perspective though. My mom had breast cancer, and everyone on our team was affected by somebody. A lot of the tears tonight are tears or happiness because of people who beat it. That’s what this is all about, and the girls understand that.
“Basketball is a game, but it’s no life. It’s part of your life, but the fact you might be done playing in a couple years doesn’t compare to losing somebody for a lifetime.”
Guiher and Lindemuth each hit 3-pointers in the first four-plus minutes of the game as the teams found themselves tied 5-5 with 3:55 left in the opening quarter.
DuBois then grabbed control when back-to-back baskets by Olivia Johnson sparked a 9-2 Lady Beavers run to end the quarter. Taylor Smith hit two free throws during that stretch, while Maddie Smith scored with eight seconds left to put DuBois up 14-7 after one quarter.
The second quarter turned into a defensive struggle, as neither team could find the hoop. Johnson scored just over two minutes in to make it 16-7.
That proved to be DuBois’ lone hoop in the quarter. The Lady Beavers’ only three points in the quarter came on free throws — one by Taylor Smith and two by DeSalve. Taylor Smith was 4 of 6 at the line to account for all four of her points while adding seven rebounds.
Brockway didn’t score until the 3:02 mark when Wood went 1 of 2 at the line. The Lady Rovers then went more than two minute without scoring before Selena Buttery made Brockway’s lone hoop of the quarter with 57 seconds remaining in the half. Wood went 1 of 2 at the line again with two seconds on the clock to send the teams into the break with DuBois up 19-11.
DuBois pushed its lead to 13 points (24-11) midway through the third quarter on baskets by DeSalve and Guiher and a Maddie Smith free throw. But, Brockway didn’t go away and used a 10-4 spurt to end the quarter to get back within seven (28-31) after three quarters.
Wood spearheaded that run as she scored eight of her game-high 14 points in the third.
Lady Rover Macie Smith opened the scoring in the fourth by going 1 of 2 at the foul line just 13 seconds in to cut the DuBois lead to six. However, the Lady Beavers countered with a big 3-pointer from Guiher to go back up nine in the opening minute.
Brockway got no closer than eight points twice (33-25 and 36-28) in the final 3:07 on a pair of 3-pointers by Lindemuth, as DeSalve’s free throw shooting helped the Lady Beavers’ maintain the cushion created by Guiher’s trey early in the quarter.
“I’m really proud of the girls. We held them to one field in the second quarter and the fourth quarter,” said Brockway coach Dick Esposito. “Eventually, we did have to put them to the foul line, and Chelsea DeSalve hit some key, key foul shots to give them a comfortable lead (in 4th quarter).
“Our kids gave everything that they possible could tonight, and I though they made a great comeback (bid). This is probably the best game we’ve played this year.
“But, this night isn’t about the coaches or the teams or anything like that. It’s more about the people we honor and the people who have suffered (because of cancer). That’s the important thing.”
DuBois travels to Punxsutawney Thursday, while Brockway (1-12) hosts DuBois Central Catholic tonight.