NEB holds on to beat Mansfield
TROY - The last time these two teams met Mansfield won handily 74-48.
Despite the big loss Northeast Bradford was actually looking forward to playing the Tigers and getting revenge.
Well, they got what they came for in a 60-49 win to advance to the District IV, Class A girls' basketball semi-finals Saturday.
"It feels great," Northeast Bradford's Calla Martin said. "From our school we haven't moved on in a while, so its a good feeling for us."
The first half was all about runs.
"This is great," Northeast Bradford coach Paul Burgert said. "Overall we have a young. Basically, we only have on kid that's played in a district game so this is huge for us."
Northeast started with a 9-0 run, led by four points from Alyssa Coon. Mansfield came back with a 6-0 run of their own anchored by back to back buckets from Emily James.
The Panthers had the last laugh in the first quarter, though, finishing with another 9-0 run to take an 18-6 lead heading into the second.
"That was the key for us," Burgert said about Northeast's fast start. "We knew we had to get off to a quick if we were going to beat them."
"It's easy when you have a lead to begin with versus when you have to come back from a big lead," Northeast forward Angelia Laudermilch added. "It made it easier."
Freshman Lydia Werner had four points off the bench in that spurt while Martin started it with a three off a MaKaylah Holbert pass.
The Tigers looked unfazed, however, as they started the second quarter on a 7-0 run to cut it to 18-13. Jackie Hillson started that spurt with a three while Simone Lichty and Madison York added back to back buckets.
Martin ended it with a bucket but Mansfield followed by scoring three more straight points to inch the deficit to 20-16.
Coon hit a shot to extend the lead back to 22-16 but a 6-0 run by the Tigers knotted the game up at 22-all. Ali Hillson had four points during that spurt.
Northeast retook the lead as Holbert hit a three but Molly Wood kept Mansfield close with a bucket of her own. A three point play by Holbert pushed the Panther lead to 28-24 but a late bucket by York off an Ali Hillson assist made it 28-26 at the half in favor of Northeast Bradford.
The third quarter was opposite of the first half as neither team let the other get too far away, evident by the 10 lead changes in the period.
An Ali Hillson three out of the break give Mansfield their first lead but Northeast took it right back off a Maddie Johnson three at the other end.
After trading buckets a Lichty three gave Mansfield the lead again but a Coon basket put Northeast back up 35-34. A Wood bucket gave the Tigers a 36-35 lead but a Martin lay-up at the other gave the Panthers a 37-36 advantage. Wood hit another bucket but it was followed by a Laudermilch lay-up.
Ali Hillson had a lay-up to put the Tigers up 40-39 but another Johnson three gave Northeast the lead for good.
After that they went on a 4-2 run to end the quarter and take a 46-42 advantage into the fourth.
"We just had to dig down deeper," Martin said about the back and forth play in the third. "Play our normal, fast paced game and it all worked out for us."
James cut it to 46-44 to start the fourth followed by the teams trading baskets. Two free throws by Johnson put Northeast up 52-46.
Twice after that Mansfield had lay-ups roll halfway down only to pop out.
Northeast took advantage as they followed that with a 3-0 run, all on foul shots, to take a 55-46 lead with less than three minutes to play.
Ali Hillson hit a free throw to cut it 55-47 but that's as close as the Tigers got. Northeast went 5-of-6 from the line down stretch to end on a 5-2 run and win 60-49.
"It's pretty exciting," Laudermilch, who finished with 11 points and six boards, said. "We knew we didn't have anything to lose, just go out there and play our hardest."
Her coach felt they did an excellent job executing down the stretch.
"We did an amazing job keeping our composure," Burgert said. "It was a fantastic job there at the end, killing clock, making free throws. I couldn't be prouder."
"We just knew we had to keep our game going, keep our pace," Martin said about their fourth quarter play.
Martin led the Panthers with a double-double of 13 points and 11 assists while adding seven steals. Johnson had 10 points and five steals, Coon netted 12, Holbert scored eight and Werner added six.
James led Mansfield with 12 points while Wood and Ali Hillson had 10 points each. Wood also had nine boards and eight steals while Hillson had two assists.
Jackie Hillson scored seven points while Lichty and York had five points each. Lichty also had five steals.
Northeast will now have chance to get back at another team in their match-up with Sayre. They lost two them twice during the regular season but the second time was only by 12 points.
"The key for us is to play for four quarters," Burgert explained. "Last time we played them I thought we played well for three, three and a half. We have to put together four good quarters."
His players are just as excited for Sayre as they were for Mansfield.
"Its exciting," Laudermilch remarked. "One of the girls was saying she wants to play them again and I agree. We get another chance."
"Its a good match-up between Sayre and us every game," Martin added. "I hope we come out this time. Sayre's a good team."
They always say its tough to beat a team three times in a row and Northeast is hoping to prove it true next week.
"I think seeing them twice helps us out a lot better," Martin remarked.