EXETER – Pittston Area survived a late surge by West Scranton to advance in the District 2 Class 5A girls basketball playoffs with a 31-25 victory over West Scranton Wednesday night at Wyoming Area.
The Lady Patriots used the win to move into the semifinals, which were scheduled for Saturday night against defending champion Abington Heights, the top seed.
“It showed that we had the week off,” Pittston Area coach Kathy Healey said. “The jitters were there. The first half, we played really well. In the fourth quarter, we kept giving them the ball and giving them the ball.
“We were giving a lot of gifts away.”
Pittston Area led 28-14 with 5:56 left. The Lady Invaders nearly matched that offensive output in the remainder of the game, outscoring the Lady Patriots, 11-3, down the stretch.
West Scranton scored five points in 11 seconds to get the comeback started when Nya Johnson followed up a Tatum Repshis 3-pointer with a steal that she turned into two foul shots.
Johnson added three more points by converting an offensive rebound and later hitting the front end of a one-and-one to get within 28-22 with 2:58 left.
Pittston Area had trouble getting the ball inbounds while committing eight turnovers in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Patriots had to rely on their defense to protect the lead.
Emily O’Brien blocked four shots in the fourth quarter.
“We pride ourselves on our defense,” Healey said.
The closest West Scranton could get in the fourth quarter was five points.
Alexa Noone went 3-for-4 at the line in the final 45 seconds and O’Brien made the last of her blocks to clinch the win.
Leah Hodick led Pittston Area with 13 points.
Noone added 12. She hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 10-point, second-quarter streak that helped the Lady Patriots to a 19-9 halftime lead.
Portia Weidlich had six assists, all in the first half.
Old Forge 58
Wyoming Seminary 48
Defending champion Old Forge returned to the District 2 Class 2A final and the state tournament with Friday night’s victory.
The Lady Devils, who had received a first-round bye as the second seed, will face top-seeded Northwest March 2 at 4 p.m. for the title.
Pittston Area 45
Crestwood needed to rally from six points behind in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Berwick to avoid a first-round playoff upset by Pittston Area for the third time in five years.
Sean Murphy had 14 points to lead Crestwood to the District 2 Class 5A quarterfinal victory.
Naseem Guillaume led Pittston Area with 17 points.
Pittston Area outscored Crestwood, 15-7, in the third quarter to take a 31-25 lead.
The Patriots had their season come to an end with a 6-17 record.
Old Forge 56
Mountain View 47
Brandon Nee scored 19 points Wednesday to lead Old Forge to the victory in a District 2 Class 2A quarterfinal at North Pocono.
The win sent the Blue Devils into Saturday’s semifinal against top-seeded Holy Cross.
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