Youngsville rallies for 42-37 win over Eisenhower
Whether it was the excitement of playing in a rivalry game or just poor executing, Youngsville looked shaky early in Thursday’s Region 3 battle against Eisenhower.
They were great late.
The Lady Eagles went on an 11-4 run that extended early into the fourth quarter and were able to hold off a fierce rally late by the Lady Knights to earn a 42-37 win at John M. Niese Gymnasium.
“The county rivalry is always a big thing and always has been,” said Youngsville coach Andy Sveda. “It’s nice to get a win up here against Eisenhower on their home floor. It’s a good win for the girls.”
With the two teams seemingly going basket for basket in the third quarter, Caitlin Craig, who scored a game-high 16 points, started the key Youngsville surge with a running shot in the lane, and followed by buckets from Paige Mineweaser and Andrea Sveda, nailed a 3 to open the fourth quarter to give the Lady Eagles their biggest lead of the game, 39-31.
Eisenhower didn’t fold, however, as a driving layup from Leah Peterson and a 3 by Savannah McKown cut the lead to 39-37 with 2:05 to play.
Those were the last points Eisenhower got, however, as Mineweaser hit a free throw and Emma Marino converted on a driving layup with 15 seconds left to put the finishing touches on the win.
“I wish they would have took a little more time off the clock, but like we’ve told them, if we have an open shot we have to take it,” Sveda said. “I’ve been preaching that to them all year.”
For the Lady Knights, it was a case of what might have been, as they went 1-of-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
“You become a good foul shooter in the summer time,” said Eisenhower coach Mike Logue. “You don’t show up in November and start shooting – you have to put the time in.”
Early in the game, it was Eisenhower that had Youngsville on its heels, forcing 11 first-quarter turnovers, as buckets by Delaney Nizzi and Payton Mineweaser staked them to an early 6-1 lead.
“Early on we did what we wanted to,” said Logue. “We knew we could force some turnovers and be able to attack the hoop. The key, though, is not maintaining that on the defensive end.”
For Youngsville, a pair of jumpers by Craig and Kamryn Weissinger kept them close early, something they had to feel fortunate about.
“Other than the first quarter, we played very well,” Sveda said. “We started moving the ball, got some open shots and played better defensively. The turnovers hurt, but we battled back.”
Eisenhower took its biggest lead of the game, 19-10, on an Emiley Wheeler steal that she converted into a layup. It was part of an effort that certainly wasn’t lacking in intensity, something Logue was proud of.
“I think our intensity tonight was good because it was a county game, a rivalry game,” he said. “That I didn’t doubt. We just need to play smart. We had too many fouls in the second quarter in particular. Instead of playing good defense, we kept reaching and sending them to the line.”
Emma Marino was the beneficiary of that, as her aggressiveness helped her get to the line 10 times in the second quarter, where she made seven, with a 3-pointer by Craig to close the half putting the Lady Eagles up one, 22-21.
“We took the ball to the hoop, got fouled and were able to make some of our foul shots,” Sveda said.
Mineweaser was Eisenhower’s leading scorer with 11 points, while Lydia Giannini had six points and 15 rebounds and Wheeler nine points.
Marino had nine points and 10 rebounds for Youngsville, while Sveda also had 10 rebounds.
Eisenhower returns to action today at home against Sheffield (weather permitting) and Youngsville is at Cochranton on Monday.
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Sveda 2-1-4-6, Mineweaser (Paige) 2-1-2-5, Weissinger 3-0-0-6, Marino 1-7-10-9, Craig 5-4-7-16, Foley 0-0-0-0, Dunn 0-0-0-0, Totals 13-13-23-42
Nizzi 1-0-0-2, Wheeler 3-3-8-9, Peterson 2-0-0-4, Mineweaser 5-1-3-11, Giannini 0-6-11-6, McKown 2-0-0-5, Garris 0-0-0-0, Spicer 0-0-0-0, Kuzminski 0-0-0-0, Smelko 0-0-0-0, Totals 13-10-22-37
Eisenhower 11 10 10 6 – 37
Three-point FGs: Youngsville (3) – Craig 2, Sveda; Eisenhower (1) – McKown
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JV: Eisenhower 48, Youngsville 12
Eisenhower: Renninger 21 points, Kuzminski 12, Chase 8, Courtney 3, Frederick 2, Greene 1
Youngsville: Hoffman 7 points, Sherrard 2, Slocum 2, Foley 1