With a chance to move into second place on Riverside’s all-time scoring list, Lizzy Spindler passed on the chance. Again…and again…and again.
The Binghamton University-bound guard scored 22 points, but could have had the 26 she needed to match Jenn King (1,534 points).
Oh, it’s going to come. Probably Friday at Mid Valley. But when Lakeland began to foul late in Riverside’s 59-48 win Wednesday night, they were sending Haley Tilberry, Natalie Sottile, Julia Antoniaccci and Shelby Slaboda to the line, and they hit 9 of 11 free throws in the last 2:27.
Spindler just as easily could have waited to be fouled, but instead put the ball in the hands of her teammates.
That’s called trust, and it might have a lot to do with why the Lady Vikes are a far more impressive team than they were three weeks ago.
“We’re just like a family and we all want to see each other succeed. There’s no, ‘I’m upset she scored,’ or ‘I’m mad that she did this,’” Spindler said. “No, we put that aside and we work as a team. That’s why we have so much fun out there and that’s why we get the wins that we’re getting.”
Head coach Jack Mekilo believes it has to do with a strong nonleague schedule.
“We’re built for these games,” Mekilo said. “We’re getting better every time and same old Riverside, battling it out like we do every year.
“I think we’re getting better every day, and that’s what you have to do in this league.”
There have been some lows. The loss to Carbondale in the final game of the first half was a disappointment, but also part of the team’s development into a potent offense that is scoring 68 points per game over its last three.
“To be honest, coach has been stressing working harder and we’ve been more diligent at practice,” Spindler said. “We had to pay attention more because we were just kind of all over the place. We’ve been running more in practice, which gets us more in shape for bigger games like this because we have to play 32 minutes. We want to win every quarter.”
Spindler is getting help, which has allowed her to play more relaxed, not needing to be perfect all the time for her team to win. She shot 9 for 19, and had a 6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the win over Lakeland.
Some of the help has come from Slaboda, who scored 21 in the 75-61 win Monday at Holy Cross, and had 10 points and 10 boards against Lakeland.
“I give her a lot of credit because she’s really battled,” Mekilo said. “Things haven’t gone her way maybe like we had hoped. But we’re getting the dividends now of her perseverance.”
Dunmore’s run as the area’s only unbeaten team (16-0) nearly came to an end at the hands of Carbondale.
Here is the game-winning three-point shot by Kelly Quinn to give Dunmore a dramatic 47-44 win over Carbondale tonight. pic.twitter.com/y6eEgOjW31
— Bucks Live Tweeting (@DHS_live_Bucks) February 2, 2017
The Chargerettes held a 42-34 lead on top-ranked Dunmore with under four minutes remaining until Maddie Martin took over, scoring eight of her 25 in the fourth and then drawing a triple-team as time wound down before kicking to Kelly Quinn for the winning 3-pointer.
That basket capped a 13-2 run down the stretch.
She seems fine
After tweaking her knee in Saturday’s Division IV first-half playoff game with Forest City, Susquehanna’s Taylor Huyck showed she’s back to normal.
After sitting out Monday’s nonleague loss to Lakeland, the freshman guard scored 21 in a 45-38 win at Montrose.
In Wednesday’s loss to Riverside, Lakeland’s Brooke Estadt showed off her impressive skill set, hitting 4 of 6 3s and finishing with 14 points on 5 of 7 from the floor. She also made three steals and blocked five shots, including three attempted by Spindler.
“It is a little frustrating sometimes because she is so athletic,” Spindler said of Estadt. “She elevates so well. I mean, she blocked three of my shots. It’s tough going against her. She’s a great player.”