FISHERTOWN - A storm swept through Fulton County on Wednesday, and it followed the McConnellsburg girls basketball team to Chestnut Ridge High School.
It didn't reach full strength until the final minutes of the District 5 Class A semifinal against Meyersdale, but hurricane Bronwyne Mellott made a heavy impact, damaging the Raiders' chances at a district final appearance.
Mellott scored 11 of the Lady Spartans' last 12 points in the final three minutes to secure a 47-36 upset over No. 1 Meyersdale, to send McConnellsburg to the district final against Fulton County rival Southern Fulton - a replica of the boys district final. The boys will play Friday at the University of Pitt-Johnstown, while the girls will face off Saturday at the same location at 2 p.m.
"We are shutting the town down," McConnellsburg coach Brent Seville said. "It means a lot for the community, and we're finally there. These girls worked their tails off tonight."
McConnellsburg held a lead through the entire game, but with five minutes remaining, Meyersdale sank four consecutive free throws to tie it at 29, with all of the calls falling in the Raiders' favor.
"We knew we could do it, we just needed to settle down," Alexis Mellott said. "And we knew that we could get Bronwyne on the inside and rely on her."
With the district final on the line, and the reminder of what the team had recently lost written on its headbands, the Spartans found the spark they needed.
"I'm at a loss of words," Bronwyne Mellott said while adjusting her black headband with the words "Do it for Dave" written, to honor assistant coach Dave Hoover, who suddenly passed away last week. "I'm so proud of our team and our coaching staff because of what we've been through recently. (Dave) would be so happy."
Mellott scored 30 of the Spartans' 47 points, and had five steals along the way.
"I think we pressured McConnellsburg a little bit and we battled a little bit, but good teams find a way to calm themselves down, which they did," Meyersdale coach Eric McCool said. "We ended up playing their game, and not our game. I didn't change our game plan and strategy in the second half and it hurt us."
Bridgette Ritchey grabbed 16 rebounds while adding seven points for McConnellsburg, while Alexis Mellott had four steals.
For the Raiders, Jackie McKenzie ended the game with a double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The McConnellsburg boys basketball team was in attendance Wednesday and chanted "UPJ" as the final seconds ticked off the clock, as both teams will travel to the University of Pitt-Johnstown this weekend to play in the finals.
"You definitely know who your fans are when you need them," Alexis Mellott said. "It's going to be one heck of a game and I can't wait."
McConnellsburg 47, Meyersdale 36
Alexis Mellott 1 0-0 2, Bridgette Ritchey 1 5-9 7, Justice Seville 0 0-0 0, Kylie Keefer 2 0-0 4, Bronwyne Mellott 10 9-9 30, Kellyn Perry 1 2-4 4. Totals — 15 16-22 47.
Katie Bolden 2 3-4 8, Gina Walker 0 2-3 2, Erika Ritchey 2 0-0 5, Jordan Correta 0 0-0 0, Jackie McKenzie 5 1-3 11, Presley Yutzy 1 0-0 3, Isabella Miller 1 0-0 2, Katie Kretchman 1 3-4 5. Totals — 12 9-14 36.
McConnellsburg _ 9 _ 10 _ 10 _ 18 _ — _ 47
Meyersdale _ 6 _ 7 _ 12 _ 11 _ — _ 36
3-point goals — McC 1 (B. Mellott), Mey 3 (Bolden, Ritchey, Yutzy).