YATESVILLE – Those errant free throws late in the game Friday night ended up being just as important as the ones the GAR girls basketball team tossed through the hoop.
And that’s thanks to Marie Skrepenak, whose rebounds on those shots prevented Hanover Area from rallying.
Instead, GAR was able to chew up more clock – something they did throughout the game – and pull away for a 42-32 victory in a District 2 Class 2A quarterfinal game at Pittston Area High School.
Second-seeded GAR (13-10) moved to Tuesday’s semifinal where it will play third-seeded Holy Cross (18-6) at a site and time to be announced. Seventh-seeded Hanover Area ended its season at 12-12.
“I’m so proud of them,” GAR coach Hattie Caruso said. “I knew we had to take control from the beginning to the end, play quarter by quarter.”
A semi-dramatic ending seemed unlikely after what transpired over the first three quarters.
The Grenadiers had Julianna Leco stand just inside midcourt and dribble away about three minutes of the second quarter. They also used a backcourt weave at times to click off more seconds.
That along with a 1-for-16 shooting performance in the middle quarters by Hanover Area allowed GAR to take a 29-14 lead into the fourth.
Then things got uneasy. Hanover Area’s Asdone Hooper nailed a couple early three-pointers. Haylee Bobos also chipped in and four consecutive points from Julie Mizenko chopped GAR’s advantage to 36-32 with 1:36 to play. But the Hawkeyes failed to convert on a GAR turnover and had to sent the Grenadiers to the foul line.
Skrepenak, though, grabbed a free-throw rebound at 1:10 … and another with 57 seconds left …. and a third with 31 seconds remaining.
She finished with nine rebounds, second to the 11 pulled down by teammate Brea Seabrook.
“She gave 110 percent,” Caruso said. “She showed she’s a team player. She’s going to work hard for our team when we need her. She did her job taking care of the board.”
Hooper led Hanover Area with 13 points. Bobos had nine and a team-high nine rebounds.
“We’ve played them four times,” Hanover Area coach Vic Kopko said. “We knew what they were going to do and they knew what we were going to do. We both tried to do some different things. I’m very, very proud of my kids.”
: Asdone Hooper 5 1-2 13, Marissa Keegan 0 0-0 0, Mickee Kaminski 0 1-2 1, Julie Mizenko 1 2-2 4, Brittany Miller 1 0-0 2, Haylee Bobos 2 5-10 9, Amber Grohowski 1 0-0 2, Samantha Masher 0 0-0 0, Tiffany McCary 0 1-2 1, Amanda Sirak 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10 10-18 32
: Bre Mosier 7 6-10 20, Marena Spence 1 0-0 2, Julianna Leco 0 0-0 0, Majeedah Nealy 1 1-4 4, Brea Seabrook 2 6-10 10, Mary Skrepenak 2 2-2 6, Lindsay Quinn 0 0-2 -0. Totals 13 15-28 42.
— HAN 2 (Hooper 2); GAR 1 (Nealy)