By Pete Chiodo
January 11, 2013 7:00 a.m. SAEGERTOWN —
Saegertown senior Arianna Hanley found the perfect 3-point stroke in the first quarter and went back to it again and again and again, banging in four triples and 14 total points in the frame while boosting the Lady Panthers to a 37-26 win over neighborhood rival Cambridge Springs on Thursday.
“Don’t ask me,” laughed Hanley after the game. “Obviously I had to get good passes from my teammates. They had to help me get open, get me picks. They did a good job getting me the ball. And I tried.”
The game was tied 2-2 when Hanley’s hot streak began. It started with a layup in transition. Then on the Panthers’ next three trips down the court Hanley drained three consecutive bombs, putting the Panthers ahead 13-2.
“She came out smokin’,” said Saegertown head coach Steve Scott.
Paige Wolfrom answered for Cambridge with a layup and later hit a free throw.
But shortly before the quarter ended, Hanley let loose another trey. In midair it looked like the streak was going to end, but the rock bounced off the glass and ripped the net, making it 16-5 Saegertown going into the second.
Hanley didn’t attempt a 3-pointer the rest of the game. But she added a deuce in both the third and fourth quarters and ended the night with a game-best 18 markers.
“She usually doesn’t shoot that well,” said Cambridge Springs head coach Rick Grubbs. “But I told them, she can hit the shot. She’s usually not going to hit that percentage. But any given night somebody that can shoot can get hot.”
Hanley’s flurry left Cambridge in a fairly deep hole. And Saegertown’s zone defense made sure the Lady Blue Devils weren’t going to climb out of it. The Spa hit just 25 percent for the game (10-for-40) from the floor and couldn’t get any closer than seven points of the Panthers’ lead (22-15 early in the third quarter).
“We had what we wanted (on offense), we just didn’t always look at the right place at the right time to throw the ball there,” said Grubbs. “I don’t know whether we were nervous or what. We did have trouble with (Saegertown’s defense). We kind of got tunnel vision sometimes, looking for certain things and not looking for something else.
“And a couple times we got it in and got exactly what we wanted and we missed the layup. So, you know, those things happen.”
Following Hanley’s 18 points, Rachel DiBartolomeo followed with 10 markers. She also had eight rebounds. Katie Kapanick came off the bench and scored six points with nine boards.
Cambridge Springs’ top scorer was Paige Wolfrom, who tallied eight points. She also paced the Blue Devils in rebounds with nine. Taylor Babb added five points.
“(Cambridge Springs) hit a few easy ones on us,” said Scott. “They move the ball real well. Those girls, they’re good. They’re athletic, they’re quick. And we hit a couple shots while they didn’t. That’s pretty much what it came down to.”
With the win, Saegertown took over the lead in the Class AA race in Region 3, improving to 2-2 in the conference and 5-5 overall.
“We needed that,” said Scott. “We had just lost two in a row, two squeakers. North East beat us by two and Conneaut beat us by six. And if we wouldn’t have come out here (on Thursday) we could have dropped three in a row. That was going to hurt. So they sucked it up and we pulled it out.”
Cambridge took a step back in the race, sitting at 2-3 in the region and 6-5 on the year.
“We played hard,” said Grubbs. “Sometimes we just didn’t play smart. (Saegertown) executed very well. We didn’t do quite what we wanted to do.”