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Basking in the glory; State girls win D6 crown

ALTOONA – It seems last second, nail biting wins are becoming the State College girls’ basketball teams normal occurrence.
After defeating Mifflin County in the last seconds earlier in the week, the Little Lions went right back at it in their title tilt against number one seeded Altoona Friday night on the campus of Penn State Altoona.
Defense would secure this one as the Mountain Lions had a chance to win the game in its final possession but a blocked shot on Altoona’s Bridged Fox gave the Little Lions the 42-41 victory.
However, the shot that might have turned the fortunes in State College’s way came at the end of the third when State College’s Lexi Risha hit a difficult buzzer beater to give her team the lead 32-31 going into the final stanza.
From there, the fourth quarter became a back and forth battle for the Gold.
Coming out of the short break, State College started the fourth quarter scoring, upping it to 34-31.
However, Caranda Perea cut it back to one for Altoona, closing it back to one.
On the following possession Elizabeth Czekaj hit one-of-two from the charity stripe, making it 35-33.
From there, Fox started to get hot, posting the next six points to put her team ahead 39-35.
Despite the four-point lead, State College kept fighting back.
The Little Lions cut it to within two on a Maya Bokunewicz bucket with 2:45 left.
After two consecutive misses from beyond the three-point line, the Little Lions made the third one a charm as they got the ball to Risha.
Again, she was cool under pressure and got the crowd exploding with cheers, dramatically taking back the lead, with 1:15 left.
Leading 40-39, State forced an errant Altoona pass and took possession once again. After numerous deliberate fouls to get a chance for a State mistake, Altoona put Risha on the line to shoot two free throws.
She was automatic on each throw and gave her team a three-point advantage, 42-39 with less than 40 seconds to go.
However, with Fox playing strong inside, she muscled her way in forced a tough shot in the paint, closing it to a one-point game.
With one last shots do the ball on the State College end, the Mountain Lions got the ball with 10 seconds and fed the ball to Fox. But three defenders immediately smothered Fox as her shot was partially blocked, giving State the victory.

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