SELINSGROVE — With 11 losses, the Shikellamy girls basketball team is teetering on the brink of elimination from the District 4 Class AAA playoffs.
And on Wednesday night, it looked like the Braves were going to go quietly into the offseason when Selinsgrove built a 14-point lead early in the third quarter.
However, the Braves decided maybe a double-digit loss to their arch rival wasn’t the way they wanted to end their season.
“We really wanted this game. Our senior night is Friday night and it would have been really depressing if we didn’t have anything to play for,” Sarah Young, one of two Braves’ seniors, said.
Shikellamy held the Seals to just one field goal over the final 17:30 of regulation and overtime, while Young hit the game-tying bucket with three seconds left in regulation and Alex Angstadt iced the game at the line as the Braves rallied for a 38-34 Heartland Athletic Conference-Division I victory.
“I think it comes down to the fact that we didn’t want our two seniors to go out like this and it really motivated the other girls,” Shikellamy coach Lou Dellegrotti said. “We just went back to what we do best and play fullcourt man-to-man defense.
“We did it the old-fashioned way, with defense.”
Shikellamy improves to 9-11 overall, 7-5 HAC-I and still has to win its final two games, Friday’s home finale with Montoursville and a road contest with Midd-West, to qualify for the district playoffs. Selinsgrove drops to 13-5, 8-4.
The Seals scored the first eight points of the second half to build a 29-15 lead with 5:34 left in the third quarter, but that run also served as a wakeup call for the Braves.
Shikellamy climbed back into the contest with a 10-0 run of its own. Young and Onesi had back-to-back 3-pointers in the spurt and an Angstadt jumper cut the Selinsgrove lead to 29-25 with 2:07 left in the third. The Seals got a foul shot from Brianna Brancato and a short turnaround from Brooke Greak to push their lead back to seven, but Greak’s bucket would be Selinsgrove’s final.
It took Shikellamy the entire fourth quarter to tie the game, but the Braves were helped by the Seals inability to hit foul shots in the fourth quarter. Selinsgrove was just 1-of-6 from the charity stripe in the fourth.
After a Young foul shot and an Angstadt foul shot cut the lead to five, Angstadt banked in a 3-pointer with 2:37 left in the game to cut the Selinsgrove lead to 32-30. Angstadt then hit 1-of-2 foul shots with 49 seconds left to cut the lead to one.
After a Brancato foul shot with 13 seconds left pushed the Seals lead to 33-31, the Braves had the last possession of the game. Shikellamy broke Selinsgrove’s pressure and Young had a layup, but missed. Raven Fatool grabbed the offensive rebound, but missed the put back. The ball got back to Young, who made a layup with three seconds left to send the game to overtime.
“I was disappointed I missed the first one,” Young said. “The ball just came back towards me and I knew there wasn’t much time left.”
Young’s basket produced the first tie in the game since it was 0-0.
It took until the 1:07 mark of overtime for someone to score and when Angstadt made 1-of-2 foul shots to make it 34-33, it was the first Shikellamy lead of the game.
Onesi added a foul shot with 20 seconds left to push the lead to two, but Greak’s foul shot with 17 seconds cut it to one, before Onesi hit another foul shot to make the score 36-34 with 11 seconds left in the game.
Selinsgrove called a timeout when it got the ball past half court with six seconds left, but a turnover on the inbound and Angstadt’s two foul shots with a second left iced the game.