Julia Antonelli and Ali Derr played phenomenally as the Lycoming College women's basketball team met Susquehanna in the championship of the school's annual Hoops for Hounds Tournament on Monday afternoon at Lamade Gym. Combining for 65 percent of their team's total points, the two forwards seemed unstoppable at times, making their presence well-known under the post.
Unfortunately for Derr and Antonelli, their stellar efforts would be in vain, as the lady Warriors ultimately fell to the rival Crusaders, 58-54, in a seesaw battle that drew nine lead changes.
"I thought our forward play was tremendous, but our guard play really let us down tonight," Lycoming head coach Christen Ditzler said. "We just shot very, very poorly.
"You need good, consistent guard-play, and we didn't have that tonight," said Ditzler.
Antonelli once again showcased the skills that have made her the on-floor leader for Lycoming this season, as the senior forward scored a game-high 18 points, shooting 7-for-11 from the field. Antonelli was also the backbone of Lyco's defense with seven defensive rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
Derr, Lyco's other starting forward, ended with a season-high 17 points. She was the most efficient shooter for the Warriors, going 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 at the line.
Collectively, Antonelli and Derr shot nearly 67-percent from field goal range, enough to keep Lycoming afloat much of the game. After trailing by as many as 6 points in the first half, the pair's dominant performance had put Lycoming back in contention when at halftime, up 29-25.
However, with the rest of the Warriors combining for a lowly 17 percent from the field, sinking just 6 of 34 shots, Derr and Antonelli were unable to maintain the Warrior lead, as the Crusaders constantly shifted defenses to contain them.
"We had to switch defenses from man to zone and back-and-forth," Susquehanna head coach Jim Reed said. "Antonelli and Derr are very hard to guard in there, and those two really gave us fits. We wanted to keep mixing defenses against those two. We just couldn't stop them individually."
With mounting defensive pressure being applied to Antonelli and Derr, the bulk of Lycoming's offensive looks shifted to their guards on the perimeter. The Warriors attempted to make the best of those outside opportunities, but fell flat, as only 2 of their 15 three-point shots found the net.
"(Three-pointers) were what they gave us," Ditzler said. "That's what they forced us to shoot, and that was their game plan. In the end, we just didn't come through with those shots from our guards."
Susquehanna's field goal numbers were nearly identical to the abysmal statistics posted by Lycoming, but the team was helped tremendously by its ability to make it to the line, and capitalize on free-throw attempts, going 21-for-25.
Nikki Komara 5-10 7-8 18; Catherine Malatack 5-8 0-0 12; Nicole Gault 3-4 1-4 7; Jonaida Williams 2-9 3-3 7; Mariah Monahan 0-4 6-6 6; Sofia Schedler 1-5 2-2 4; Eleni Dimou 0-1 2-2 2; Candence Cannady 1-3 0-0 2; Heather Zinn 0-0 0-0 0; Anna Bojakowski 0-0 0-0 0; Kerri Zelenak 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 17-47 21-25 58.
Julia Antonelli 7-11 4-8 18; Ali Derr 7-10 3-5 17; Janelle Ziminski 1-7 4-4 7; Victoria Siebecker 2-6 0-0 5; Nicole Calella 2-10 0-0 4; Olivia Manges 1-7 0-0 2; Chelsea Henderson 0-2 1-2 1; Victoria Kowalski 0-1 0-0 0; Jenna Morgan 0-0 0-0 0; Rachel Miller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-55 12-19 54.
Halftime:?Lycoming, 29-25. 3-point goals--Susquehanna 3-7 (Malatack 2-3; Komara 1-3; Williams 0-1), Lycoming 2-15 (Siebecker 1-2; Ziminski 1-4; Calella 0-4; Manges 0-4; Kowalski 0-1). Fouled out-Zelenak, Derr. Rebounds--Susquehanna 41 (Komara 10), Lycoming 30 (Antonelli 9). Assists--Susquehanna 11 (Sofia Schedler 4), Lycoming 16 (Siebecker 3; Miller 3; Antonelli 3; Calella 3). Total fouls--Susquehanna 18, Lycoming 22. Technical fouls--None. A-276
All-Tournament Team: Nikki Komara (SU) - MVP; Jonaida Williams (SU); Janelle Ziminski (Lycoming); Lauren Alwan (Stockton); Trafficia Warburton (AM)