Bigger classification, bigger girls, same result.
Playing at the Class AA level for the first time and playing against a front line that included two 6-footers, Muncy never buckled and never backed down Tuesday against Williamson. It kept fighting back, went ahead to stay on Charity Good's late 3-point play and clinched a thrilling 48-44 District 4 quarterfinal win at Williamsport when Jordan Jones swished both ends of a 1-and-1 with 17 seconds remaining.
Muncy might be the new kid on the Class AA block but it's two wins from capturing a championship. The Indians (17-6) are semifinal bound for a third straight year and next face top-seeded Mount Carmel.
"We want to come out and make a name for ourselves," said Muncy guard Brianna McLaughlin, who scored 15 points and was huge defensively. "It's our first time ever in Double A and we're sort of the underdogs because we're a smaller school and it's a good thing when you can fight for the wins."
Muncy certainly did that in an exciting game that featured 13 lead changes, including five in the fourth quarter. Williamson (17-6) led with 90 seconds remaining before Good rebounded a Jones missed 3-pointer that went in and out. She shot it over a 6-footer, swished it and then hit the ensuing foul shot, giving Muncy a 45-44 lead.
McLaughlin then forced a turnover, Jones hit a foul shot and McLaughin grabbed a rebound off a missed jumper. Jones then went to the line again. The crowd was roaring, but Jones was clutch, draining both shots and sealing the win.
"We were confident," McLaughlin said. "We knew she would make them."
Muncy trailed by as many as five in the third quarter but never wilted. Williamson captured the NTL-West championship behind 6-foot-3 Lori Horton and 6-foot Kim Daugherty's spectacular seasons. Both played well again, but Muncy held that duo to 21 combined points, 12 below their season average. Good is Muncy's tallest player at 5-9 and her sister Crystal is 5-6, but both were outstanding inside and combined for 13 rebounds.
McLaughlin, Jones and Gina Paisley also were instrumental to the defensive performance because all three hounded Williamson's guards and made it hard for them to get the ball inside to Horton and Daugherty. They combined for eight steals and helped force 23 turnovers.
"Brianna and Jordan up front and Gina out there with them with their speed and the way they played all year we knew we had a little advantage there tonight," Muncy coach Craig Weaver Jr. said. "We really attacked that and had the girls going up and pressuring the ball as much as we could. Watching film, we knew where we had to be and the girls put themselves in the right spots."
Paisley came up big offensively too, hitting three 3-pointers. Each one came at a key time and helped Muncy stay within striking distance. Her final 3-pointer answered one by Jamie Cook and pulled Muncy within two late in the third quarter right when it seemed like Williamson was taking control.
The teams were tied 34-34 after three quarters and the fourth went back and forth with Daugherty (12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals) putting Williamson ahead 43-42 on a putback with 2:25 remaining. Horton (9 points, 14 rebounds, 7 blocks) added a free throw 32 seconds later before Good converted the huge 3-point play and put Muncy ahead to stay.
Cheyenne Jones scored 12 points for Williamson while Jones again did a little bit of everything. The junior guard had 11 points, 6 assists and five rebounds.
Jordan Jones 3 4-6 11, Brianna McLaughlin 7 0-0 15, Crystal Good 3 0-0 6, Charity Good 3 1-1 7, Gina Paisley 3 0-1 9, Allison Edwards 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 5-8 48.
Lori Horton 3 3-4 9, Kim Daugherty 5 1-4 12, Cheyenne Jones 5 0-0 12, Jamie Cook 1 0-0 3, Jenna Hugic 2 4-6 8. Totals 16 8-14 44.
Muncy8 15 11 14-48
Williamson9 15 10 10-44
3-pointers: Muncy 5 (Paisley 3, Jones, McLaughlin); Williamson 4 (Jones 2, Daugherty, Cook).
Records: Muncy 17-6. Williamson 17-6.