Sayre girls advance to AA final.

By: The Review | Towanda Daily Review | February 26, 2017


LAPORTE — Saturday's District IV Class AA game couldn't have started any better for Line Mountain's Lady Eagles, but it was Sayre's Lady Redskins who had the last laugh, winning 48-39 to earn berth in the District IV Class AA championship game and entry into the PIAA playoffs.

A pair of Joelle Snyder threes staked the Lady Eagles to a quick 6-0 lead. Sayre got on the board courtesy of a Camry Lane jumper, but the Eagles got baskets from Sam Snyder and Amber Hackenberg to extend their lead. A pair of Tori Waite free throws gave Line Mountain a 10-point lead.

"I think the rough start was shaking off the 16-day layoff," said Sayre coach Eileen Sparduti. "We did everything humanly possible to keep them game-ready. It wasn't conditioning, it was the mentality that the scoreboard's running and the intensity of where their heads had to be."

Sayre began its comeback bid in the closing seconds of the first with a deuce from Kaeli Sutryk that turned into a six-point run on a pair of Chloe Tracy baskets. Waite hit two from the charity stripe for the Eagles, but Sayre got a free throw and a trey from Sutryk to get within two points, at 15-13, mid way through the second.

The Eagles weren't about to go away that easily, though, and maintained a lead until Sayre's Blair Wampole scored off an offensive rebound at the buzzer to tie the game 19-19 at the half.

The Eagles started out the second half strong as well, erasing an early two-point deficit on two Joelle Snyder baskets. The first came on an offensive rebound and the second was a three-pointer that gave the Eagles a 26-23 lead.

Down 33-29 later in the period, Sayre again turned to Sutryk, who drained another three. With two seconds left in the period, Lane hit from inside to trim Line Mountain's lead to 35-34 with eight minutes left.

That's when the fatigue really became evident. Eagles' shots fell short and Sayre was able to find more open looks. The Redskins reeled off a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter. Tracy was the catalyst, starting the run with a basket and assisting on two others before scoring the last of the 10 points with 2:21 to go in the game.

"I think our rotation system really wears our opponents down," said Spartuti. "You saw the energy start to erode a little bit in the second quarter. They recovered (at halftime), They can recover quickly, then it's about how long you can sustain it. Against an opponent who makes you race, race, race.

Sayre's Molly Ball answered a Lacey Snyder free throw with a short jumper for a 10-point Sayre lead that would grow to 12 before Sam Snyder hit a three to provide the final margin.

"We knew coming into the game that we were going to be out-sized and we focused on rebounding and trying to get them in foul trouble, which we did in the first half," said Waite. "I was happy with the way we rebounded. We were battling."

Joelle Snyder led Line Mountain, but was held to 13 points by Chloe Tracy and Andi Noldy, who made her work for every point. Sam Snyder, who also had seven rebounds, and Waite, who had six boards, had eight points each.

Sutryk had 14 points for Sayre, with Lane and Tracy adding 11 and 10, respectively. Lane added six boards, with Tracy adding three assists and three steals. Ball made her presence felt on the glass with seven rebounds.

Sayre will face East Juniata for the District title next week. The date, site and time have yet to be determined.