McConnellsburg girls win District 5 championship
Check out the top 10 plays from McConnellsburg girls and Southern Fulton boys in the District 5 basketball championships on Friday. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
It was a long time coming for the McConnellsburg girls basketball team.
After falling in the District 5 Class 1A championship last year to Fulton County rival Southern Fulton, the Lady Spartans wanted this trip to the University of Pitt-Johnstown to end differently.
And it did.
Friday, McConnellsburg claimed a 62-46 victory over Northern Bedford to become District 5 2A champions.
“I knew back in fourth grade that this team was something special,” McConnellsburg coach Brent Seville said. “I knew we were going to be something special at the district level, and we proved that tonight. We came up short last year, but I knew they had it in them.”
McConnellsburg certainly came out with something to prove after splitting regular-season meetings with Northern Bedford, and jumped to a 12-2 lead early in the first quarter. The Spartans continued to limit the Panthers' scoring through the first half thanks to an outstanding effort on the boards by Kellyn Perry, who led the team with nine rebounds.
“Brent told us in the locker room that if we got 25 rebounds we would win the game, so I was trying to get 25,” Perry said. “It helped us keep them from getting all of the second chances like they did when we played them up there.”
But the district championship medal was not all the McConnellsburg girls team was celebrating Friday. Bronwyne Mellott, the team’s catalyst for success the last four years, broke the school’s all-time scoring record on an offensive rebound with under a minute left in the game.
“Obviously the first goal was District 5, and I knew that if I just played, the points would come,” Mellott said. “I just went up strong and did what I could to make it. The pressure was definitely off at that point. We had a comfortable lead and the record was done and it was a big relief. It feels good.”
McConnellsburg survived a big push from Northern Bedford in the third quarter, as the Panthers cut the deficit to five late in the period, but the Spartans stayed composed and pulled away in the fourth.
“The fourth quarter we had a couple unforced turnovers and a few possessions that we didn’t get a shot up,” Northern Bedford coach Todd Eckenroad said. “But for us to even be here is a great accomplishment for this team. I’m proud of these kids.”
Mellott needed 25 points to tie the all-time scoring record entering Friday's game. She led the team with 33 points, including a near-perfect 11-for-12 performance from the foul line. McKenzie Gelvin contributed 10 points, while Katelyn Truax added seven.
Northern Bedford's Sydney Snyder led the Panthers with 16 points, followed by 14 from Emma Eckenroad.