Comeback gives Old Forge girls ninth title in 11 years

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch

WILKES-BARRE TWP. – Ron Stachiotti called a timeout with 6:28 left March 4 when a 3-pointer by Northwest’s Reagan Harrison left his Old Forge team facing six-point, fourth-quarter deficit in the March 4 District 2 Class 2A girls basketball championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

There was no need, however, for any major concerns.

“They just picked themselves up in the huddle,” Stachiotti said after Old Forge allowed just two points the rest of the way while defeating Northwest, 41-33, to win its ninth district championship in the past 11 years. “They just came out and played.

“They don’t panic.”

That was evident by the game-closing 16-2 run.

Lindsey Welsh, who led the Lady Devils with 13 points, and Jennifer Regan each scored five points in the run.

Old Forge scored the game’s last 10 points, starting with Alexandra Nocera’s two free throws with 3:14 left to force the game’s seventh and final tie at 33-33.

Regan hit the front end of a one-and-one after grabbing an offensive rebound, putting Old Forge ahead to stay with 2:13 left.

Welsh found Nocera cutting back door to extend the lead, then Old Forge went 5-for-6 from the line in the final minute to secure the title defense and state tournament berth.

Nocera had four of her 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Freshman Olivia Ciullo made the last two free throws with 9.6 seconds left. She finished with eight points, 11 rebounds and seven steals.

Regan had nine points. Welsh had seven rebounds, three assists and three steals to go along with her 13 points.

Old Forge shot 10-for-12 from the line in the fourth quarter and 19-for-24 in the game.

The teams traded control of the game.

Northwest only trailed for 53 seconds in the first quarter when it led by as many as three points.

Old Forge took a 20-13 lead early in the third quarter by outscoring Northwest, 13-4, in a stretch that began in the closing seconds of the first quarter.

Harrison finished with a game-high 17 points. She had all three of her 3-pointers in a 16-4 run that results in the 31-25 lead.

Ciullo and Welsh led Old Forge to a 27-19 rebounding advantage

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at