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District 2 Girls 5A Semi-Final Recap (Scranton vs. Crestwood)

District 2 Girls 5A Semi-Final Recap (Scranton vs. Crestwood)

Written by: Jon K on February 24, 2024



February 23, 2024


4th Period Push Gets Lady Knights Into 5A Final


Scranton 55, Crestwood 45


SCRANTON – After battling even with Scranton, the District 2 Girls 5A top seed, for over 28 minutes, Crestwood saw their hopes for pulling off an incredible upset disappear in under 30 seconds.  After Cameron Vieney drilled a game tying triple to knot the game at 38 just beyond the midway point of the the final period, Kamryn Alers responded with a corner trey of her own.  An Alers steal moments later and feed to Chrissy Jacklinski resulted in a 3-point play and sent Lady Knights fans to their feet celebrating the 44-38 lead.  Scranton had seized the momentum and they then sealed the 55-45 victory from the charity stripe to advance to Thursday’s evening’s championship game against Lackawanna League division rival Abington Heights (who topped Dallas in the other semi-final 48-46 in overtime).  This was a terrific matchup among a pair of the best teams in the entire district.

Both teams knew the significance of this game.  Locking down the District 2 Championship is the big prize, but getting to play on the hardwoods of Mohegan Sun Arena has become quite the motivating factor for many teams.  This one started out with some obvious jitters as a combination of missed shots and turnovers filled the first three minutes of the contest.  Kate Gallagher got Crestwood on the board with a putback before Jordan Andrews added another basket.  A minute later Kendall Petrosky converted a free throw giving the Lady Comets a 5-0 lead at the 3:20 mark.  Finley Bittenbender,  a spark plug all season for Scranton, knotted the game with a 5-point spurt.  Crestwood grabbed a 7-5 edge as they split two trips to the foul line.  This one continued to swing back and forth as an Alers triple was followed by three-point play by Charlie HillerChrissy Jacklinski again tied things up at 10 heading into the second period.  

Crestwood used a 5-0 spurt to begin the second quarter, but the Lady Knights then grabbed control and took a lead into halftime.  Jackie Gallagher and Hiller (a triple) gave Crestwood a 15-10 advantage.  Canyah Randle, more of a force on the boards and for her defensive pressure, got a big three-point play to help start a 9-0 run by ScrantonFinley Bittenbender then converted 2 of 3 free throws.  Alers and Zya Small added scores in the lane, Alers on a floater that banked in and Small as she was falling backwards in the lane, to go up 19-15.  Petrosky knotted it up at 19 with a pair of free throws and fast break layup at the 1:51 mark.  Scranton grabbed a 22-19 lead as Maggie O’Shea netted a triple before the halftime break.

Crestwood again began a frame with an offensive burst, this time by Keira Dougherty as she scored on a fast break followed by a triple to give the Lady Comets a 24-22 edge at the 5:37 mark.  O’Shea’s free throws and yet another score by Dougherty made it 26-24.  The Lady Knights responded with an impressive 8-0 run (Finley Bittenbender 5 points and Jacklinski 2) that again had the home crowd buzzing with a 32-26 lead.  Crestwood got a pair of scores by Hiller (including a nifty turnaround) followed by the Lady Comets hitting just 1 of 4 free throws that reduced the deficit to a single point, 32-31, entering the final eight minutes.   

The excitement in this one was just getting started.  Small drove down the lane followed by a nothing-but-net triple by O’Shea that gave Scranton a 37-33 lead.  Hiller kept the Lady Comets within reach cutting it to 37-35.  After Jacklinski made a free throw, Cameron Vieney got her first points as she nailed a corner triple to make it all even at 38.  But, just 15 ticks later, Alers displayed her own long-range shooting touch from the corner to give the Lady Knights a pulsating 41-38 lead.  The play of the game came seconds later as Alers made a strong heads up play to steal a pass and get it to Jacklinski for a traditional 3-point play and a 44-38 lead with 3:37 remaining in the game.  Jackie Gallagher made a corner trey to cut it to 44-41, but Small and Jacklinski combined to make it 51-41 with just over a minute showing on the clock.  O’Shea then calmly converted all four free throw opportunities to help secure the 55-45 victory.

Scranton got very balance scoring as Chrissy Jacklinski, Finley Bittenbender, and Maggie O’Shea each scored 12 points.  Kamryn Alers, Zya Small, and Canyah Randle combined for 19 points.  The Lady Knights netted 6 triple and made 15 of their free throws.

Crestwood was paced by Charlie Hiller with 15 points and Keira Dougherty with 11 points.  Kendall Petosky, Jackie Gallagher, Kate Gallagher, Cameron Vieney, and Jordan Andrews teamed up for 19 points.  The Lady Comets hit 4 triples and made just 9 of their 19 trips to the charity stripe.

Scranton (22-2) will battle Abington Heights (18-5) for the District 2 Girls 5A crown Thursday evening at 6 pm.

Crestwood (16-8) will travel to play WVC division rival Dallas (19-7) Wednesday evening (7 pm) to determine which team will advance to the state tournament.       









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