Re-live game day through the eyes of Southern Fulton's Drew Hann in the District 5 Class 1A girls basketball semifinals. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
The Southern Fulton girls basketball team encountered a bit of rain on the hour-long trek to Shanksville for a District 5 Class 1A semifinal game, but those drops were nothing compared to the storm the Indians needed to weather against Shanksville-Stonycreek.
The reigning District 5 1A champions entered the Vikings' gym already without their star player, Olivia Mottern, and as the game progressed the odds began to stack against them as the Indians fell 47-38 to Shanksville.
"We set a goal when I got this job in May - the seniors really wanted to get to UPJ because they had never been there before, and they came out and won 19 games this year. That's a big deal," Shanksville coach Corey Crognale said. "Starting the fourth quarter I could tell in their eyes they wanted it really bad."
Shanksville will meet Berlin in the district final on Saturday at the University of Pitt-Johnstown at 4 p.m. Berlin dominated Shade 73-31 to punch its ticket to the final. Southern Fulton will face Shade in the consolation game at UPJ, also on Saturday, at 12:30.
The Vikings came out fast, forcing turnovers and capitalizing on Southern Fulton miscues, but the Indians held Shanksville to just three points in the second quarter, all the while eliminating the small deficit to head to the locker room with a four-point lead.
"We wanted to come in and play with all of the energy we have and give it all we have," Southern Fulton's Lindsey Hollenshead said. "We were very nervous in the first half and we needed to settle down and execute on plays a little more."
Shanksville outscored Southern Fulton 20-10 in the third quarter, however, and with a trip to the district final on the line, the Indians had to call in reinforcements. Mottern, who had missed three games prior due to an ankle injury, subbed in.
It was too little too late, though as Mottern couldn't make much of an impact after Shanksville took hold of the lead. Point guard Hollenshead and second-leading scorer Emily Bradshaw both fouled out in the fourth quarter, while Shanksville drained eight of 11 from the line in the final frame.
"We were trying to get a quick bucket and a quick stop, but with foul trouble that made it tough, and once me and Em came out, the ball handling was a lot tougher," Hollenshead said. "But I think everyone on the bench stepped up - even though we didn't win, I think they did a really nice job."
Crognale said, "We usually play a fast-paced game, and I thought I could run them and press them and get under their skin a little bit, but I'll tell you what, Southern Fulton is tough as nails. And when (Hollenshead) fouled out, that was a big thing, and it kind of took them away from their game."
The Vikings were led by Lexi Wilt with 12 points, followed by a pair of nine-point performances by Aly Platt and Sidney Stutzman. Bradshaw led the Indians with 11 points.