MUNCY - Her coach was upset and challenged her at halftime. Muncy senior forward Charity Good had 16 minutes to make her final game against Montgomery a memorable one. Despite her team trailing by nine, her confidence never wavered.
"We had a little heart to heart at halftime and I told her that I need the Charity I'm used to seeing," Muncy coach Craig Weaver Jr. said. "I told her if we're going to win than you need to do it and she said, 'I got this coach.'"
She was right. Good had a lot of help from her teammates too, but her game-high 14 rebounds, big fourth-quarter basket and intense interior defense proved vital as Muncy held Montgomery to three second-half points and rallied for a hard-fought 34-28 win. The Indians (11-3, 6-1 HAC-III) completed a three-game sweep of their local rival and because they are in different classifications, Good leaves the rivalry on top.
"We weren't playing good defense and we knew we had to step it up. The biggest thing is if you want to go out and change it you have to go out there and do it and not just say it," Good said. "We weren't rebounding in the first half and we weren't getting bodies on them so that was a big change in the second half."
Montgomery (6-8, 4-4) did little wrong in the first half, building a 25-16 lead against a team that had won the two previous games by 45 combined points. The Red Raiders were getting open looks, controlling the inside and getting numerous second and third-chance scoring opportunities.
Muncy switched to a 2-3 zone and the defense was like a vise that squeezed the life out of Montgomery's second-half offense. The Raiders missed 17 straight shots, did not score in the fourth quarter and were held scoreless over the game's final 10 minutes as Muncy ended on an 8-0 run.
Brianna McLaughlin ignited the swarming defense. The sophomore guard hounded outstanding point guard Corrine Shaffer and prevented her from getting good looks and even getting the ball at times. Shaffer scored 12 of her game-high 14 points in the first half but McLaughlin's relentless defense helped change the game's complexion.
"Brianna is very quick up front and she made it very difficult for anything to go down and that's what Brianna has done for us all year," Weaver Jr. said. "She gets it started out front and then the rest of the girls feed off that so that was huge for Brianna to step up like that."
"To score only three points in a half is not acceptable by any means," Montgomery coach Craig Weaver Sr. said. "Their guards beat our guards up. Corrine Shaffer played a great game, a tremendous game, but we got four points between our other guards and you can't win games doing that."
Montgomery still led until late in the third quarter before Gina Paisley (8 points) tied it at 28-28. Crystal Good (9 rebounds) put Muncy ahead to stay, scoring on a putback on Muncy's first fourth-quarter possession. Charity Good made it 32-28 three minutes later, hitting a jumper off a nice Jordan Jones assist.
Montgomery's tenacious defense kept the Raiders in the game, but Muncy masterfully spread the floor with two minutes remaining and burned 67 seconds off before Jones was fouled and hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to make it 34-28. Following a Montgomery miss, Muncy brilliantly passed and dribbled away the final 40 seconds.
Jones was big in the second half and finished with 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals. Paisley hit three of four shots at one point as Muncy won on a night it shot poorly and trailed by 13 in the first half. The Indians also clinched their fourth straight playoff berth and showed they can win with toughness and guts as much as talent.
"It was a complete game," Charity Good said. "Everyone stepped up and it was well-rounded. Everyone played defense, everyone had a key point here or there or made a big rebound. It definitely helped us and it is encouraging because we have Bloomsburg Friday and then a big week next week."
If Montgomery plays the way it did in the first half it could be a dangerous team moving forward. The Raiders played well in all facets, shredding Muncy's defense, running the court well, staying patient when necessary, crashing the boards and making repeated hustle plays. Freshman Dionna Satteson was a huge part of that effort, grabbing 10 of her 13 rebounds in the first half while scoring four points, blocking two shots and making two steals.
Four Raiders grabbed at least five rebounds and Emily Shnyder had eight. But then Good did exactly what her coach asked and turned things around.
"We played as good a first half as we can play and all year long the third quarter has been our worst and these girls have to realize that sooner or later you have to change what you're doing," Weaver Sr. said. "Our effort was there but our offensive side is killing us."
Corrine Shaffer 4 5-6 14, Katie Scarborough 0 0-4 0, Sidney Schoch 1 2-4 4, Jessica Scampone 1 0-0 2, Dionna Satteson 2 0-0 4, Emily Shnyder 1 0-0 2, Kaylie Harer 0 0-0 0, Rachel Hite 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 7-14 28.
Jordan Jones 2 6-8 11, Brianna McLaughlin 2 2-2 6, Crystal Good 1 0-0 2, Charity Good 1 3-4 5, Gina Paisley 3 0-1 8, Allison Edwards 0 0-0 0, Nikki Scott 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 12-15 34.
Montgomery10 15 3 0-28
Muncy6 10 12 6-34
3-pointers: Montgomery 1 (Shaffer); Muncy 3 (Paisley 2, Jones).
Records: Muncy 11-3, 6-1 HAC-III. Montgomery 6-8, 4-4.