GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Solanco wins; Blazers suffer last-second loss - LancasterOnline: Sports

GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Solanco wins; Blazers suffer last-second loss

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Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2012 12:12 am | Updated: 7:48 pm, Thu Sep 12, 2013.

The only thing missing in Germantown High School's gym Friday night was a camera crew from the TV show, "Survivor."

Hard fouls were common and bodies flew to the floor constantly during a pair of highly-physical games, which actually left two girls, Philadelphia Central's Shanique Mattis and Lancaster Mennonite's D Probst, headed to the hospital with concussion-type injuries.

In the end, Solanco survived to see another day on the PIAA playoff island, while Lancaster Mennonite was sent packing.

Sparked by Abrielle Battiste, who scored all six of her points during an 11-3 game-ending run by Solanco, the Golden Mares came from behind to earn a 46-39 PIAA Class AAAA first-round victory over Philadelphia Central.

In the nightcap of Friday's doubleheader, Mennonite was done in for good by Monique Whaley-Briggs' free throw with 2.3 seconds left, which lifted Carver Engineering & Science to a 51-50 PIAA Class AA opening-round victory.

Solanco (23-5), the No. 4 seed from District Three, advances to face District One seventh seed Cheltenham (25-3) - a 65-63 winner over Bangor Friday - in Tuesday's second round at a site and time to determined.

Mennonite (20-9), meanwhile, saw its season at the hands of Carver (17-5) for the second straight year.

"That's a tough way to go out," Blazers coach Sherri Gorman said afterward. "We made some mistakes, that's all I can say."

For that matter, so did Solanco. Plenty of them, in fact - like the 11 third-quarter turnovers that turned their 24-17 lead into a 30-27 deficit with a quarter left to play.

But the Mares survived thanks in no small part to Battiste, who - with Solanco trailing 36-35 with 2:38 left to play - began turning the tide, starting with her 3-pointer from the right wing that put the Mares in front for good (38-36) with 2:20 remaining.

"That felt good," Battiste said. "After a few airballs on (3-point attempts) in the first half, I wasn't feeling real confident."

After Central's Asia Mosee hit a trey from the left wing to get the Lancers back within one (40-39) with 40 seconds remaining, Battiste revived the Mares' confidence again by hitting three of four free throws over the next 18 seconds.

"(Teammate) Jillian Eberly came up to me (before shooting the last of those foul shots) and said 'It's just like practice,' " Battiste recalled.

"And let me tell you," she added with a laugh, "that's not just like practice. It's a little more stressful."

But when Solanco got a pair of free throws from point guard Makenzie Keys (game-high 17 points) and another from center Gillian Glackin (16 points) down the stretch to ice it, the stress was over for the Mares.

Conversely, despite taking its biggest lead of the night (35-23) on a Jess Rheinheimer (game-high 23 points) trey midway through the third quarter, the tension was about to begin for Mennonite.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Jayla Green and Whaley-Briggs (15 points) got Carver within 39-35 after three, before the Engineers took their first lead since early in the second quarter on Whaley-Briggs' drive in the lane that put them in front 42-41 with 5:58 left to play.

A back-and-forth slugfest ensued down the stretch, capped by a pair of Rheinheimer free throws that tied it at 50 with 16.5 seconds left to play.

But as Whaley-Briggs worked the perimeter for an open look on Carver's final possession, she was fouled by Mennonite's Jada Dunsen with 2.3 seconds to go. Whaley-Briggs made the first to put the Engineers in front 51-50.

Rheinheimer's last-ditch, three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer was well off the mark.

"We had a misfortune," Gorman said. "A mishap."

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