Hazleton, Pa. - The Lady Lions remain in the hunt for an eastern division playoff spot but that chase was stymied over the weekend with a pair of losses at Penn State Beaver and Penn State Fayette over the weekend. Hazleton struggled on the offensive end in both outings, connecting on just 28 percent of their shots throughout the weekend slate. Hazleton opponents on the other hand, shot 50 percent or better on each day, creating a difficult scenario for the Lady Lions to overcome.
Friday, February 8: Penn State Hazleton 50, Penn State Beaver 103 - Final
Monaca, Pa. - Beaver took command of Friday's game right from the get go with relentless full court pressure. The Lions suffered an uncharateristic eight turnovers in the first quarter alone leading to easy baskets on the opposite end and a 21 point deficit at the conclusion of the period. The Lady Lions steadied their handle going forward and combined for seven field goals in the second quarter but couldn't find the answer to slow Beaver who continued to press their advantage both defensively and on the glass. In the end the home squad would convert 30 points off Lady Lions turnovers and earn 31 second chance points to secure the runaway victory.
Beaver's solid defensive effort made it difficult for the Lady Lions to get much going on offense, but senior Mckenzie Prutsman (Jasper, Ny.) still managed to work her way for a game high 32 points. Prutsman added seven rebounds and six steals in what would be her fifth straight game of 30 or more points.
Saturday, February 9: Penn State Hazleton 48, Penn State Fayette 97 - Final
Uniontown, Pa. - The Lady Lions looked for some redemption on Saturday but it would be tough sledding once more as two big spurts by Fayette would spell defeat for the Lady Lions. Three early turnovers for the Lady Lions would aid Fayette on their way to an early double figure advantage and a 14 point cushion after the first quarter. After a solid effort in the second period, Fayette would came out of the break and blew the game open with excellent passing and high quality looks. A 13-3 to to start the third period quickly put the game out of reach and Fayette would go on to finish the quarter 11-for-14 from the field with seven assists.
The result may not have been what the Lady Lions had hoped for but there was history in the making on Saturday. Needing just six points to pass Highacres Sports Hall of Fame member Alexis Daly, Mckenzie Prutsman passed the recent legend in the first quarter of Saturday's game. Prutsman would finish the game with 24 points, surpassing 1,800 career points in the process and finding 11 swipes to lead Hazleton in the box score. Junior Mckenzie Wolfe (Grove City, Pa.) added a 10 points and six rebounds while freshman Hayley Fellin (Hazleton, Pa.) notched eight points and four boards.
Next up: The Lady Lions look for a clean slate after a tough weekend out west as they come down the home stretch of the regular season with three games left on the schedule. Hazleton will host Brandywine on Monday, February 11 at 6:00 p.m. looking to stop the skid and lock up a playoff spot.