Stopping Holy Redeemer’s best player was one problem for Pittston Area during Saturday afternoon’s District 2 Class AAA girls basketball playoff at Wyoming Area High School. Keeping their own players on the floor was another.
Alexis Lewis scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while combining with Pittston Area foul trouble to help Holy Redeemer land the district’s third and final spot in the state Class AAA tournament with a 55-40 victory.
“Alexis is a great player,” Pittston Area coach Kathy Healey said.
Monmouth recruit Mia Hopkins was not on the floor at the beginning or end for Pittston Area. Hopkins did not start because of what Healey would only describe as “a team thing.”
She fouled out with 4:08 remaining, finishing well below her season averages with seven points and five rebounds.
That was not the only foul trouble for the Lady Patriots. Pittston Area managed to get within, 35-29, when Allie Barber scored the final five points of the third quarter during a time in which Hopkins and Eastin Ashby were already sitting out with four fouls and Jackie Rabender eventually joined them after picking up her fourth.
“That was huge,” Healey said, “especially, the offensive fouls. They called one on a player who wasn’t even there. “Everybody was in foul trouble. You can’t play that way.”
Hopkins and Rabender each fouled out. Ashby and Liz Waleski finished with four fouls. Barber appeared to be whistled for an offensive foul, one of four called on Pittston Area in a seven-minute stretch of the second half, on a drive to the basket with 3:06 left in the third quarter.
The foul was reported to the official scorer as being on Rabender, who wound up missing 4:41 of the game while Barber played on with one foul. Pittston Area opened the fourth quarter with three starters on the bench because of the foul trouble and Holy Redeemer scored four quick points to regain command. The Lady Patriots never got closer t
han nine the rest of the way. Brianne Frascella, who scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter, hit two baskets during a game-breaking, 7-0 run for a 49-33 lead with 4:32 left. Alyssa Plasko had 10 points and six rebounds before fouling out for Holy Redeemer.
Waleski led Pittston Area with 10 points and six steals. Ashby and Barber added nine points each. Rabender had a team-high eight rebounds.
Hopkins entered the game after just 2:06 with Holy Redeemer in front, 4-2. Pittston Area scored the next five points for a 7-4 lead. With Lewis scoring nine points in the first 4:22, the Lady Royals moved ahead for good.
They scored the final 10 points of the first quarter for a 14-7 lead. Lewis had two more baskets when Holy Redeemer scored six straight points for the first of its two 11-point, first-half leads, 25-14. Hopkins scored her only points of the half on a basket when Pittston Area broke the press with a minute left in the second quarter. That closed the first-half scoring with Holy Redeemer in front, 27-18.