Big effort for Cougars
HAZLE TWP. — Hazleton Area didn’t waste any time revealing its game plan for the upcoming basketball season Friday night.
The Lady Cougars gave Williamsport a heavy dose of its big girls, and sprinkled in contributions from up and down the lineup for a 64-51 season-opening victory in the annual Lady Cougar Tip Off Tournament at Hughie Mcgeehan Gymnasium.
Marissa Trivelpiece pumped in a game-high 20 points, and fellow forwards Faith Grula and Kyra Antolick combined for 22 more as Hazleton Area rolled past the Millionaires and into this evening’s final.
The Lady Cougars will face off with Lake-lehman, which dismantled Liberty 54-20, in the championship game. Liberty and Williamsport will meet in the 6 p.m. consolation game.
The Lady Cougars rode Trivelpiece’s 15 first-half points to a 39-21 lead by intermission, and upped the advantage in the third quarter, outscoring Williamsport 17-10 for a 56-31 lead heading to the fourth.
With a 60-33 advantage early in the fourth quarter, head coach Joe Gavio cleared his bench.
At that point, the Millionaires rallied with a 16-0 run over the next four-plus minutes, getting to within 11 (6049) on Jada Whaley’s steal and layup with 1:54 to play.
At that point, Gavio reinserted his starters to finish things off. Free throws from Brooke Boretski and Katie Lipinski, and a Trivelpiece putback closed out the 13-point victory and sent the Lady Cougars on to the title game against a Lake-lehman team that beat them in the opening round last season.
In the opening game of the evening, five players scored seven points or more, led by Madison Borum’s game-high 10 as Lake-lehman eased past Liberty and moved on to the title game for a second straight season.
The Black Knights opened up a 21-6 lead through one quarter and stretched that to 36-8 by intermission. Nine different players reached the scoring column for Lakelehman.
Hazleton Area’s Marissa Trivelpiece, left, gets past Williamsport’s Emily Pardee on a drive to the basket.