YATESVILLE – The potential of the Pittston Area girls basketball team has been evident in seven wins, three by at least 33 points, three more by double-figures margins and another against a then-unbeaten team.
Frustrations are mounting, however, as the Lady Patriots remain a .500 team, despite outscoring opponents by 63 points through 14 games.
The latest disappointment came Tuesday night when a 13-point, second-quarter lead slipped away in a 52-48 Wyoming Valley Conference crossover loss to visiting Lake-Lehman.
The defeat left Pittston Area with a 1-4 record in games decided by four points or fewer.
“It’s very frustrating,” Pittston Area coach Kathy Healey said. “Take away Nanticoke, because they took it to us, and maybe North Pocono.
“ … Every other game, it’s just three or four points; we’re there. We just need the confidence to get over that hump.”
The Lady Patriots were rolling early Monday against the WVC’s most improved team from a year ago.
Leah Hodick, who also set up an Andrea Ruby basket in the run, and Alexa Noone each had six points in a 14-2 spurt to a 17-7 lead in the opening seconds of the second quarter.
Noone had three 3-pointers in the first quarter and finished 5-for-12 from long range while scoring a team-high 19 points.
Emma Coles came off the bench to score half the points in an eight-point streak to a 25-12 lead with 3:12 left in the half.
Pittston Area’s offense suddenly went stagnant and, after the score stayed the same for more than two minutes, Lake-Lehman ended the half with eight quick points.
“We had that stretch where we threw the ball away and they scored, then we threw the ball away again and they scored again,” Healey said.
By the time Pittston Area scored again, after a drought of 5:58, Lake-Lehman had closed within two.
Playing with the lead, the Lady Patriots often settled for perimeter shots early in possessions.
Lake-Lehman, which never used its bench, committed just three fouls in the game, all by center Madison Borum. The only foul of the second half came with 43 seconds left.
“We didn’t get to the rim as much as we wanted,” Healey said. “Obviously Borum’s in the middle, but you can get her out of there or make her foul you.
“They had zero fouls. We couldn’t get to the rim, so how are we going to get to the foul line?”
Hodick had 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists and held Borum, Lake-Lehman’s season scoring leader, scoreless until 2:27 into the second half.
Borum helped out with game-highs of 14 rebounds, five steals and three blocked shots. She wound up with seven points, including a surprising 3-pointer with 2:25 left for a 49-43 lead and what proved to be the game’s winning points.
“Give Borum credit, she hit that 3 that took the wind out of our sails,” Healey said. “She stopped out there and hit that 3. Leah played tough defense on her all night.”
Pittston Area closed to one on Noone’s last 3-pointer, but Lake-Lehman scored the game’s final three points on the line to clinch the win.
Coles grabbed seven rebounds and Mary Silinskie had six assists in the loss.
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