Lady Cougars advance to tournament final
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 (60-49) 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-Lehmanteamthatbeattheminthe opening round last season. 570-501-3596; @sstallone5 on Twitter
Hazleton Area’s Marissa Trivelpiece beats Williamsport’s Emily Pardee to the hoop during their opening-round game in the Lady Cougar Tip Off Classic on Friday night.
Hazleton Area’s Diane Garnett drives against Williamsport’s Katelyn Wilson during their season-opening girls’ basketball game on Friday night at Hughie McGeehan Gymnasium.