SAEGERTOWN — Nicole Harmon’s holiday vacation has been anything but a vacation.

On Monday, for her senior project, Harmon put on an alumni girls basketball game at Saegertown High School. That was prior to competing in the annual Elks Holiday Girls Basketball Tournament to benefit the Lady Panthers Boosters.

The alumni game featured six 1,000-point scorers, including Julie DeWoody, Melisa Acker, Megan O’Donnell, Amanda Scott, Alyssa Woods and Kelsy Reisinger, and even Nicole’s mother.

One day later, Harmon added her name to that distinguished list, scoring a game-high 29 points Tuesday to help lead the Panthers to a 52-44 win over Kennedy Catholic and their first Elks Tournament title since 2005. The 29 points is believed to be a career-high and gives Harmon 1,018 for her career.

Harmon is the 20th player in school history to score 1,000 points in a career and the 13th girl.

“I’m so excited,” Harmon said. “It will be nice to be able to bring my kids back one day and show them my name on the wall.”

But more importantly, “It means a lot to do this as a player from Saegertown,” she continued. “There are always good quality players on Saegertown’s teams. It’s not that I’m the only person on the team that can score. Cassie (Esler) had 16. LeeAnn (Kapanick) can shoot the ball. The freshmen have stepped up. Katie (Jeannerette), Kendall (Hyde) … they both can shoot.

“This isn’t just about me.”

But for one day, it was kind of all about Harmon.

Saegertown, coming off Monday’s hard fought win over Titusville, struggled out of the gate against Kennedy Catholic, allowing the Eagles to jump out to a 13-8 lead thanks to the 3-point shooting of KC freshman Marissa Carry.

Kennedy extended that lead to seven points (17-10) in the second quarter on Carry’s third three of the game. But with 2:35 left to play in the opening half, Harmon lit a spark under the Panthers, nailing her second trey of the game to pull Saegertown within four (19-15) and give her 1,000 points for her career.

Esler answered with another 3-pointer for the Panthers and Harmon, the tournament MVP, connected on a pair of free throws to give Saegertown a 20-19 lead — its first of the game — heading into the locker room.

Kennedy reclaimed the lead to start the third quarter and extended it to as many as seven points once again. But with 33 seconds to play in the period, Harmon hit her fourth 3-pointer to pull the Panthers back to within two and Esler answered again with another 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Panthers up 35-34.

The Eagles remained close throughout the fourth quarter and trailed by just two (42-40) with 3:19 to play. Harmon hit her final 3-pointer of the game with 2:14 left that extended Saegertown’s lead to five and the Panthers made their free throws down the stretch to seal the deal.

“Things started to fall at the right time,” Saegertown coach Steve Scott said. “We’ve had a lot of close games and I think it helps to be in a lot of close games. We took care of the ball pretty good and made shots when we had to. It was just a heck of a ball game.”

In addition to her 29 points, Harmon also chipped in with eight rebounds and played a key role in the second half shutting down Kennedy’s Caitlin Lenhart in Saegertown’s 1-3-1 zone defense.

“Everybody played their role (yesterday) when they had to,” Scott said.

Esler, who was named to the all-tournament team, finished the game with 16 points for Saegertown (7-1), going 5-for-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to help seal the win. Freshmen Malorie Levis and Brandy Ryder had six rebounds each.

For Kennedy (5-2), Cassandra Fill led the way with 14 points, all of which came in the second half. Lenhart added 13 points and 13 rebounds. Carry finished with 10 points. All three were named to the all-tournament team.

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