‘Stoga basketball goes 1-1 in double header

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Article by Rohan Gandhi, Guest Reporter
Photos by Meagan O’Rourke and Elizabeth Billman, Co-Convergence Editor and Staff Reporter

It was a “pink out” night at Conestoga as the Take a Blink for Pink club raised over $4,000 for the organization Unite for HER. The girls’ basketball team fell 56-50 while the boys’ team won 80-71, both against the Garnet Valley Jaguars on Friday Jan. 29.

Girls basketball

In the girls’ game, the Pioneers started out with great defense, forcing the Jaguars to keep the ball on the perimeter. The game was low scoring to start but sophomore Maria Koblish hit two 3 pointers to spark the Pioneer offense. After securing a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Pioneers found themselves in a close and physical game. Senior Ellie Mack imposed her will in the lane, scoring 19 on the night. After good play by both sides, the Jaguars took a 29-27 lead into the half.

The third quarter was slower paced with both defenses stepping up their game. Early in the fourth however, Koblish again gave the Pioneers a much needed jump start by hitting a deep 3 to cap off her record night of 20 points. The Pioneers tied the game and then took the lead at 47-46 with only a few minutes left. However, the Jaguars managed to pull away late, hitting free throws to secure the lead. The Pioneers fell to Garnet Valley for the second time this season, their only losses in the Central League, 56-50.

The loss puts the Pioneers at 15-3 on the season, going 12-2 in the Central League. While the team may no longer control their own destiny in the race for the League title, they are still in a prime position to close out the season and look to the District 1 playoffs.

[unitegallery girls_double]

Photos by Meagan O’Rourke.

Boys basketball

In the boys’ game, the Pioneers were electric right from the tip off, with a 14-2 run early in the first. After a pioneer score, senior Andrew Larkin swooped in and stole the ball on a Jaguar inbound and went straight in for a layup. However, one impressive move was not enough as the Pioneers intercepted the ball again on the very next inbound giving it to Larkin for a second score. The Pioneers kept their foot on the gas taking a 29-16 lead at the end of the first. The Jaguars recovered slightly from their shell-shock in the second quarter but were still outpaced by the Pioneers who led 39-29 going into the half.

The Pioneers kept playing well and scoring in the third quarter. Junior Angus Mayock made three field goals while the defense stepped up a notch in their play. After taking a 59-41 lead into the fourth quarter, both teams allowed their depth to gain some playing time. The Jaguars fouled repeatedly to attempt a comeback, but senior MJ Lezanic went 8 for 9 on the night in free throws to keep the Pioneer lead safely out of reach, culminating in a 80-71 victory.

“We found a different kind of energy tonight that we didn’t have previously,” Lezanic said. “It’s hard to put in words what it’s like playing in front of the Pioneer Pit filling up half the bleachers.”

The win improves the Pioneers to 13-6 on the year going 10-4 in the Central League. The team is looking forward to what is “definitely going to be a fun postseason,” Lezanic said.

[unitegallery boys_double]

Photos by Elizabeth Billman.