Big second half rally lifts Youngsville past Eisenhower

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Youngsville’s Erin Dunn drives against Eisenhower’s Leah Peterson during their game on Monday at Youngsville High School. The Lady Eagles were able to rally for a 49-39 win.

What a difference a half makes.

Trailing 21-11 at halftime, Youngsville outscored Eisenhower 38-18 in the second half en route to a 49-39 win in the Backyard Brawl on Monday.

The Lady Eagles, who swept the regular season series with the win, were sparked by Cait Craig, who scored 12 of her game-high 20 point in the third quarter.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Youngsville coach Andy Sveda of taking two from the Lady Knights. “The rivalry has always been there and it’s great to take two. I don’t know the last time that’s happened, but it’s been a while. I’m proud of the girls.”

Craig went to work from the free throw line in the second, as she became assertive offensively and was able to get to the line.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Eisenhower’s Lydia Giannini drives strong to the basket during Monday’s game against Youngsville. Giannini finished with 11 points.

For the game, she knocked down 15 of 19 from the line – all but two in the second half.

While the Lady Eagles went to work offensively, it was actually their defense that turned the tide.

“In the first half they played a 2-3 zone, which I don’t think they’ve played that often,” said Eisenhower coach Mike Logue. “That’s kind of our weakness, but I thought we executed well against it.”

Haley Spicer knocked down a 3 to start the third, putting Eisenhower up 24-11, but that’s when Youngsville got it going, switching from zone to man defense.

Paige Mineweaser nailed back-to-back jumpers and Craig began a string of 11-straight points with a jumper of her own.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Youngsville’s Emma Marino fires a corner jumper over the outstretched arm of Eisenhower’s Haley Spicer during the Backyard Brawl on Monday.

“Paige Mineweaser played an excellent game tonight, Kamryn Weissinger played awesome defense – all the girls, they played great tonight,” Sveda said.

Craig went 7-of-7 from the line during that stretch as the Lady Eagles cut the lead to 3, 32-29.

Shelby Kuzminski, who along with Savannah McKown and Delaney Chase gave Eisenhower good minutes off the bench, knocked down a pair of free throw’s to keep the Lady Knights in the lead, 33-31 after 3.

Emma Marino connected on a 3 to start the fourth, however, to give Youngsville the lead, and the Lady Eagles just kept rolling.

Weissinger made a layup off a nice feed from Craig to put Youngsville up six, 41-35, but Eisenhower cut the lead to 41-37 on a jumper by Chase with 3:40 to go.

Eisenhower, however, was only able to make one more shot the rest of the way, and the Lady Eagles went 9-of-10 from the line in the quarter to ice it away.

Free throw shooting proved to be a big difference, as Youngsville was 23-of-31 compared to 9-of-24 for Eisenhower.

“Foul shooting is key, as it has been all year,” Logue said. “We struggled at times, but more importantly, you cannot put a good shooter (Craig) on the line that many times. She’s going to make her shots.”

Early on both teams struggled to make shots, but a jumper by McKown gave Ike a 7-2 lead with 2:40 left in the opening quarter.

A drive to the bucket by Weissinger cut the lead to two after the first, but Eisenhower was able to outscore Youngsville 13-5 in the quarter, as the Lady Eagles battled foul trouble with Andrea Sveda and Marino.

“That’s something I worry about, but Megan (Foley) came in and did a great job, and so did Erin Dunn,” coach Sveda said.

Spicer knocked down a 3 to put Ike up six and Delaney Nizzi converted an old-school 3-point play to put Ike up 10 at the break.

“The first half, we couldn’t get into a rhythm,” Sveda said. “We were trying to force the issue and I just told them to calm down, make the good passes and get the looks and it worked in the second half.”

Giannni finished with 11 points and eight rebounds, while Nizzi had seven assists and three steals.

Mineweaser also had 10 points for YHS.

“That’s what’s great about a rivalry, is you get good games like this,” Logue said.

Eisenhower won the JV game, 28-14.

Kuzminski had 14 points for Ike and Dunn, Foley and Sadie Hoffman each had four points for Youngsville.

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EISENHOWER (39)

Nizzi 1-1-1-3, Wheeler 2-2-4-4, Spicer 2-0-0-6, Peterson 0-0-0-0, Giannini 4-3-10-11, Chase 1-0-0-2, Greene 0-0-0-0, Kuzminski 1-2-4-4, Garris 0-0-2-0, McKown 3-1-3-7, Totals 14-9-24-39

YOUNGSVILLE (49)

Sveda 1-1-1-3, Mineweaser 4-2-2-10, Weissinger 3-0-0-6, Marino 2-4-5-9, Craig 2-15-19-20, Dunn 0-1-2-1, Foley 0-0-0-0, Totals 12-23-31-49

By Quarters

Eisenhower 8 13 16 6 — 39

Youngsville 6 5 20 18 – 49

Three-point FGs: Eisenhower (2) – Spicer 2; Youngsville (2) – Marino, Craig

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