Lourdes drops UDA Trojans

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WILLIAMSPORT - When playoff basketball time rolls around, there is nothing wrong with a team having a subpar performance - as long as that performance is on offense.

That is exactly what the Lourdes girls' basketball team had Saturday, March 9 inside the Magic Dome at Williamsport High in the opening round of the PIAA Class A Tournament.

Other than having to deal with the frustration of what should have been, however, the five-time District 4 champion Red Raiders really had nothing to be concerned about because their defense dominated District 3 fourth-place team Upper Dauphin from start to finish in a 51-29 victory.

With the victory, the Raiders (21-5) advanced to the Wednesday, March 13 second round to face District 1 champion Girard College (21-4), which defeated District 11 runner-up Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg 37-35.

"Everybody expects us to come out of the locker room and have a double-figure lead before they toss the ball up," Lourdes coach Mike Klembara said. "Well, that's just not going to happen, and after losing in this round the last four years, it's just nice to be moving on.

"Certainly, we would have liked to have shot better and made some of those shots, but the bottom line is you play one game at a time, and the goal is to move on. We're the ones moving on, and it's because of our defense."

Lourdes forced 17 first-half turnovers, but shot just 10-for-34 and had just a 24-15 halftime lead on the Trojans (11-16). Helping to open that lead was the defensive quickness of Bailey Trell, who scored all seven of her first-half points after steals.

With 6:27 left in the half, the Trojans drew even at 13-13 on a field goal by Katie Schwenk, who matched McKenzie Miller for a team-high 11 points. After that it was all Lourdes, which went on a 10-0 run, getting a three-point play from Trell.

Upper Dauphin committed nine of its 32 turnovers in the third quarter, which Lourdes converted into points. Rachel Schultz scored seven of her game-high 18 points in the frame for the Raiders. She had all three of the Raiders' field goals in the quarter, which saw them shoot 9-of-12 from the foul line to take a 39-23 lead.

"It's no secret that we're not going to dominate anyone with our inside game, but we're quick enough to create scoring opportunities," Klembara said. "We finally started to take advantage of our opportunities."

Not all of those opportunities resulted in field goals, but the Raiders were able to get to the foul line. They converted 16-of-25 foul shots, including 13-of-19 in the second half when they outscored the Trojans 27-14.

Nikki Komara scored seven of her 12 points in the second half, making 7-of-9 foul shots.

Upper Dauphin was limited to 12 field goals, including five in the second half.

Halifax 68

Motivation 25

The Halifax Wildcats won a trip to the second PIAA playoff round, downing Motivation 68-25 in their opener on March 9. Halifax (3-2, 17-10) was slated to take on Southern Fulton (5-2, 24-3) on Wednesday, March 13. (Details of that game were unavailable prior to press production.)

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