TUNKHANNOCK — Lackawanna Trail played a strong first quarter, but a lack of offensive production for a span of 10 minutes in the second and third quarters proved costly.
Blue Ridge outscored the Lady Lions, 17-2, over that span and defeated Lackawanna Trail, 59-35, in a District 2 Class 2A girls basketball quarterfinal game Feb. 21.
Cali Fauquier scored six of her team-high 10 points and Lexie Kwiatkowski added five points in the first quarter when Lackawanna Trail (1-22) took a 17-13 lead. Blue Ridge’s Abby Hartman scored nine of her game-high 17 points in the quarter to pace the Lady Raiders.
Kwiatkowski and Fauquier were each called for two fouls in the first, which proved costly in the second quarter. After Rachael Beemer scored in the first minute of the quarter, Trail was held without a point until Beemer hit another jump shot in the closing seconds of the half. Blue Ridge used a 14-4 edge in the quarter to lead 27-21.
“It’s frustrating when your two leading scorers get put to the bench for doing things I’m teaching them,” Lackawanna Trail head coach Lauren Sheakoski said. “Every time they go back in, they get another foul and are back on the bench. Cali led the team in scoring and was on the bench for probably three quarters of the game due to foul trouble.”
Kalynne Myers scored seven of her 16 points in the third quarter when the Lady Raiders (14-9) increased their lead to 13 points.
“That’s kind of been our saga all season,” Sheakoski said. “We compete in games for two to three quarters and then we lose it for a quarter, somewhere, which costs us games.”
Isabella Cosmello scored four of her 12 points in the fourth quarter to help Blue Ridge close out the win.
Blue Ridge held a big advantage in free throw shooting, knocking down 21 of 30 attempts while Trail made just four of 10 attempts.
The Lady Raiders also outrebounded Lackawanna Trail, 40-29, in the game.
Despite the loss, Sheakoski has a positive outlook for the future of the program. The Lady Lions only lose one senior, Sarah Weisenfluh, off this year’s team.
“I have girls coming back who play hard and have potential,” she said. “If they want to get better, they have to get in the weight room during the offseason.”
Blue Ridge will play Elk Lake (13-10) in the semifinals on Friday.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.