District 2 Girls 5A Semi-final Recap (Dallas vs. North Pocono)
Written by: Jon K on Monday, March 8th, 2021
March 8, 2021
Lady Mountaineers: Arena Bound
Dallas 46, North Pocono 43
By Phil T.
DALLAS – After Dallas saw their 12-point lead dissipate, a costly turnover in the closing seconds gave North Pocono the chance to force overtime. However, the Lady Mountaineers would get bailed out again as Julia Kocher got her hand in the middle of the Lady Trojan inbound pass to force a steal and send her team onto the District 2 AAAAA Championship against Abington Heights with a 46-43 victory.
Neither team could take momentum in the opening period as each squad had the lead at least once and they were ties on four other occasions. Victoria Spaciano would be the key difference as Kocher would find her under the basket, with less than five seconds remaining in the opening quarter, to give Dallas an 11-9 advantage.
The Lady Mountaineers continued to ride their strong finish into the second stanza with an even stronger burst as they went on an 8-0 run before a Morgan Seidita jumper ended it to establish a 17-11 lead. The Lady Trojans quickly closed the gap to four points but Dallas fired back with another 8-0 run that extended their lead to 12 points, their largest of the game.
Facing a double-digit deficit in the first half and the game appearing to start slipping away, NP buckled down and was able to trim the Mountaineer advantage to six points (25-19) as the teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime.
The beginning of the second half felt a lot like how the game started with both teams trading buckets back-and-forth until Dallas fell into a scoring drought. The Lady Trojans quickly took advantage of the opportunity as they mounted an 8-0 run of their own that knotted the game at 31. A late bucket from Spaciano would regain the lead (33-31) for the Lady Mountaineers heading into the final quarter.
Midway through the final period, Carena Colo would score eight consecutive points for North Pocono as they kept the deficit within reach at three points. On the flip side, Spaciano would ensure that the Lady Mounts maintained their edge.
With under a minute remaining, Dallas held a 3-point advantage on the scoreboard and had possession of the ball. With five fouls remaining to give, NP played aggressively on defense as they attempted to force a turnover. After their sixth team foul, the Lady Trojans were finally able to regain possession after an inbound pass was not able to be controlled by Claire Charlton and bounced out of bounds. North Pocono’s opportunity would be short-lived as they would lose possession off of the inbound pass as the Lady Mountaineers sealed the 46-43 victory and ticket to District 2 AAAAA championship game.
Bella Hill led all scorers with 16 points as she guided her team to the win. Kocher swiped two steals, none bigger than the one in the closing seconds to seal her team’s win. Victoria Spaciano proved to be a difference maker in the second half logging eight points and rebounds after the halftime break, finishing with 12 points and 13 rebounds (four defensive – nine offensive).
Alicia Goldenziel led North Pocono with 12 points and nine boards. Colo provided key plays across the floor all night finishing with nine points, ten rebounds and four assists.
Dallas next heads to Mohegan Sun Arena for the district championship game against Abington Heights on Saturday evening. Both the Mountaineers and Comets came up short in their respective championship games last season, Dallas losing to Scranton Prep in the 4A class while Abington Heights dropped a heartbreaker to West Scranton in the 5A class.
Special thanks to the Dallas Athletic Department for allowing LLHoops to cover tonight’s game.
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