Valley Sports Report
LANCASTER - District 3 champion Linden Hall got off to a fast start, then pulled away late to end Sayre's season with a 57-35 win here Friday night in the opening round of the PIAA Class AA girls basketball playoffs at Conestoga Valley High School.
"I could not be prouder of this group and the heart and determination they brought to this game," said Sayre coach Eileen Sparduti. "And to battle on missing an important starting senior showed true strength of character.
"We believe our performance spoke as to why we were there, and a 20-game winner on the season," she added. "It was a positive ending to a long, at times challenging, season. "
Linden Hall scored the first 13 points of the game, and the Lady Redskins lost senior Amber Merrill to a possible concussion, but senior Stephanie Klovekorn scored six points, and junior Emily Sutryk canned a 3-pointer to close the gap to 15-9 after the first eight minutes.
Senior Camry Lane knocked down a 3-pointer, and then canned a pull-up jumper to pull the Lady Redskins within one point, at 15-14, but Linden Hall closed the first half with a 10-3 run to take a 25-17 lead into the intermission.
Drexel-bound Hetta Saatman scored 10 points in the third quarter to spearhead a 15-11 spurt that gave the Hall a 40-28 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Sayre trailed 44-31 midway through the final stanza, but Linden Hall closed out the game with a 13-4 spurt to seal the victory.
"We ran out of gas, we're not that deep," said Sayre coach Eileen Sparduti. "I knew they were tired, and I think we couldn't make a run because of that, but I'm as proud as I can be of them.
"We were shorter, smaller, not quite as fast, and definitely outnumbered, but they should be proud," she added. "They gave it everything they had, it just wasn't enough."
Lane led Sayre with 13 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while Klovekorn and Sutryk, who drained a trio of 3-pointers, scored 10 points apiece. Sophomore Gabbi Randall hauled down eight rebounds and dished out three assists.
Saatman led Linden Hall with 18 points, and Anya Miller added 17 points.
"(Linden Hall) is a very solid team, but we gave them fits. We made them go, 'woah, wait a minute, this team came to play,'" Sparduti said with a laugh. "I'm just really proud of how hard they played.
"Had we been able to get a little closer in that second half, make things go a little differently, it may have had a different outcome," she added. "I'm certainly not disappointed with how we played, I'm just a little disappointed with the outcome."
Sayre wraps up the 2018-19 campaign with a 20-8 record.
IN PHOTO 1: Sayre's Camry Lane. ... PHOTOS COURTESY OF DANIELLE HICKEY.