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Indians lose to Southern Columbia

MILTON – With every Southern Columbia shot going in, Muncy could feel its chance to make a state tournament appearance slip away further and further in the District 4 Class AA consolation game Thursday night at Milton.

The Tigers were relentless in their pursuit for a berth in the state tournament. Southern cruised to a 71-42 win, signaling the end of the season for a Muncy team that returns every player on the roster with the exception of Aleaha Bigelow.

“I wanted to play with everything I could, but (Southern Columbia) kind of got the game out of hand by halftime so I just wanted to soak in everything especially being able to play for the final time with my little sister,” Bigelow said.

The lone senior finished a rebound shy of a double-double to go along with 10 points.

Bell Hitesman had a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double and Cierra Charles and Avery Bigelow each added eight, but the Indians could not come back from 21 turnovers that lead to quick Tiger turnarounds.

Muncy showed a promising glimpse of years to come with just two juniors on the team, four sophomores and four freshmen that have earned valuable varsity experience. Coming out of the locker room, they were already looking forward to next season.

“I’m proud of everything the girls accomplished this season, even though the last two games didn’t go our way we battled with some very tough teams,” Muncy coach Ed Rogers said.

Southern used its outside game in the first half to stretch the Indians’ defense, then crashed the boards in the second half to build 15- and 20-point leads. Ava Novak and Alli Griscavage benefitted from the Tigers’ outside game with 15 and 12 points, respectively, with most of their points coming in the last two quarters.

“We knew they were going to press us,” Rogers said. “We tried to prepare for everything and it just didn’t go the way it needed to go tonight.”

The Indians never gave up, but could not get the score within 15. As Muncy scored, Southern Columbia answered just as quick to keep the game out of reach.

Muncy walked back into the Milton locker rooms before the Tigers were given their third-place medals, already determined to get back to work for next season, already asking Rogers when the newly-built Muncy gym will be opened to start practices.

“They got back into the room and were already asking me when we can hold open gyms to work on things and get better, I think they will get over this game quickly and be ready for next time,” Rogers said.

With her high school career coming to a close, Bigelow was proud to help the younger Indians along this season and knows just how hard the team has worked to get a game away from a state tournament.

“I just want them to keep pushing themselves as much as they have pushed themselves this season,” Bigelow said

“She’s kept the tradition of helping change the culture at Muncy since I took over. She was always the one to hold others accountable and teach the other girls how to play the game,” Rogers said.

Southern 71, Muncy 42

MUNCY (42)

Cierra Charles 4 0-0 8; Avery Bigelow 3 2-4 8; Mia Edkin 1 0-0 2; Arianna Copeland 0 0-1 0; Aleaha Bigelow 4 1-4 10; Bell Hitesman 6 0-1 12; Lauren Harner-Steele 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 3-10 42.

SOUTHERN COLUMBIA (71)

Faith Callahan 3 0-0 8; Grace Callahan 3 0-0 9; Ava Yancoskie 1 0-0 2; Ally Griscavage 6 0-2 12; Summer Tillett 2 1-2 5; Morgan Marks 2 0-0 4; Loren Gheret 2 3-4 8; Maddie Griscavage 1 0-0 2; Ava Novak 5 3-3 15; Colby Bernhard 1 0-0 2; Rilyn Wisloski 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 7-11 71.

Muncy 7 10 16 9 – 42

Southern Columbia 17 12 23 19 — 71

3-point goals: Muncy 1 (Al. Bigelow 1), Southern Columbia 8 (G. Callahan 3, F. Callahan 2, Novak 2, Gheret 1).

Records: Muncy (15-10).

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