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Blue Devils turn out lights on Lady Knights

OF advanced to PIAA tournament with win in Class 1A play-in game

Old Forge’s Nicole Marianelli, left, and Dana Bilski battle for a loose ball during the Blue Devils victory over Harrisburg Christian in a PIAA Class 1A play-in game on Tuesday.

photo by rick notari

Old Forge’s Brittany Souryavong goes to the basket during the Blue Devils win over Harrisburg Christian on Tuesday in a PIAA Class 1A Play-in game.

photo by rick notari

Relegated to a play-in game after falling in the District 2 title game last week, the Old Forge girls’ basketball team traveled 110 miles on Tuesday night to Harrisburg Christian High School for an opportunity to advance to the PIAA Class 1A State Tournament.

The trip was well worth it for the Blue Devils.

Old Forge held the Lady Knights without a field goal in the first half on its way to a 47-17 victory over the host school who came into the game as the fourth-seed from District 3, and the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference champions.

The Blue Devils raced out to a 17-2 lead after the first eight minutes as Harrisburg Christian (20-6) went 0-for-11 from the field while turning the ball over 10 times against the Old Forge half-court zone defense. Lindsay Regan and Lauren Carey paced the spurt by combining for 13 points for the Blue Devils.

Old Forge continued its defensive dominance in the second quarter, forcing the Lady Knights into an 0-for-6 performance with five turnovers. Many of Harrisburg Christian’s shots on its home floor were short of the rim in the first half.

But the Blue Devils weren’t much better in the second quarter, shooting 1-for-11 from the field as the managed just five points in the second quarter to take a 22-7 lead at halftime. Harrisburg Christian kept its deficit at 15 by converting 5-of-10 free throws in the second period.

Old Forge opened the second half with a 10-0 spurt to put the game away before the Lady Knights converted their first field goal of the night, a layup by junior Carissa VanDyck at the 3:23 mark of the third quarter. HC’s first basket of the game came exactly 52 minutes after the 7 p.m. tipoff.

The Lady Knights missed their first 26 shots of the night before VanDyck’s conversion.

The Blue Devils opened its lead to 38-11 at the end of the third quarter as Regan and Carey split 10 points during the 16-4 run.

HC scored its second basket of the night at the 2:49 mark of the fourth quarter against the Old Forge reserves as VanDyck again scored on another layup. The Lady Knights finished the night shooting 2-for-41 from the field, and with 31 turnovers.

Freshman Taylor Nemetz closed out the scoring for the Blue Devils with her first varsity three-pointer to close the scoring at 47-17.

Regan finished with a game-high 12 points for the Blue Devils, and added seven rebounds and an assist. Carey added 11 points, three rebounds and a steal, and Nicole Marianelli chipped in with eight points, four steals and two rebounds.

Andi Alsalahat hauled in a game-high eight rebounds to go with five points, three blocks and two assists.

Sarah Fish chipped in with three rebounds, two assists and a steal for Old Forge.

The Blue Devils took on two-time District 1 champ Delaware Country Christian (24-2) yesterday at Norristown High School outside of Philadelphia.

For a full report, check next week’s edition of The Sunday Dispatch.

A win over the Lady Knights would put the Blue Devils in Wednesday’s eastern quarterfinals against either Reading Central Catholic (20-6) or Cowanesque Valley (22-3).

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