Hazleton, Pa. - Hazleton led for much of Saturday's home contest with Mont Alto, looking to close the gap on the .500 mark in the Penn State University Athletic Conference. The Lady Lions led by as many as nine points in the third period before Mont Alto surged in the final frame to capture a four point win over Hazleton by the score of 62-58.
Hazleton excelled in the first and third periods only to see Mont Alto claw their way back into the game at the end of each half. The Lady Lions combined for just seven field goals in the even numbered quarters and despite those struggles from the field, controlled the game deep into the final frame. All that would change midway through the fourth quarter as Mont Alto began to heat up from the field.
The visitors failed to shoot over 35 percent from the floor in the each of the preceding quarters but found their rhythm in the late stages to connect on 8-of-15 shots in the last period, including two triples and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. As Mont Alto closed the gap, sophomore Kendra Pfeil (Hazleton, Pa.) drained her third triple of the afternoon, extending Hazleton's advantage back to nine points with 4:34 to play, but the Lady Lions would go cold down the stretch as Mont Alto finished the game on an 13-0 run to steal the victory.
Fourth quarter struggles aside, Pfeil and senior Mckenzie Prutsman (Jasper, Ny.) continued their solid play against the stout defense of Mont Alto. Prustman would lead all scorers in the game with 25 points, adding eight rebounds and seven steals to her credit while Pfeil finished the afternoon with 17 points, four rebounds and three steals, connecting on 3-of-8 attempts from beyond the arc.
Next up: Back to back close games result in a split for the Lady Lions who are fighting for a trip to the post-season. Hazleton will look to bounce back on Tuesday night when they host Penn State York at 6:00 p.m. in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium.