Indians Capture Girls, Boys District 5-A Titles
In fact, over a span of 10 years the Mountaineers and Lady Indians have squared off on seven different occasions with Berlin, clinching five of those matches. Saturday’s game ended on a slightly different note, however, as the Lady Indians controlled the pace of the game early on and cruised on to win the District 5-A title.
During the well-attended game at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ), senior guard Lacey Beatty exceeded her typical average of 14.2 points per game with 16 points and four steals. Team co- captain Chelsie Eader, who typically finishes with around 12.1 points, wrapped up the 46-32 victory with 12 points. Teammate Macey Hollenshead rounded out the championship, sinking nine points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists.
Following a strategy ingrained early on this season by head coach Mark Mellott, the Indians took advantage of the first four minutes of the match by jumping out to a 12-point lead with help of their fast break.
The second quarter and remainder of the game took on a much different spin as the Indians and Mountaineers spent much of their time at the foul line. The teams combined for a total of 48 foul shots throughout the game. Individually, the statistics recorded show the Lady Indians sunk 22 out of 34 free throws. Hollenshead’s points were all made at the foul line after she netted nine out of 12 shots.
The Lady Indians trophy and game net will undoubtedly be placed in the Southern
Fulton School District’s display case along side the boys’ 2011 District 5-A championship trophy that was won only the night before.
On Friday evening at UPJ, the Indians found themselves matched- up against the number one seeded Shade Panthers. Unwilling to disappoint their fans or break a streak of district titles, Southern Fulton only held a five-point lead going into the halftime break but slowly expanded that lead over time.
In true form, team leader Ryan Harper racked up yet another double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. Teammate Seth Hall contributed 12 points and six assists, and J.C. Munson and Nathan Keebaugh had seven and six points, respectively.
At the night’s end, the game was deemed a defensive match. Southern Fulton’s Munson and Damon Gordon helped shut down Shade’s offensive effort, which had been averaging 60 points a game with key shooting by guards Kenny Gibbons and Ryan Fyock.
With the championship matches under their belts, the boys and girls squads are now beginning preparations for PIAA state playoffs.
The boys team, which has a season record of 21-4, will be playing against Conemaugh Valley Friday evening. The opening round game will get under way at 7:30 p.m. at UPJ. Meanwhile, the Lady Indians will appear in the first round of state playoffs on Saturday against Conemaugh Valley. The match will begin at 3 p.m. at UPJ.