STATE COLLEGE — It didn't take long for the State College girls basketball team to play a memorable Mid-Penn Conference game.
Making their conference debut on their own floor Tuesday night, the Lady Little Lions outlasted perennial league title contender Central Dauphin 52-51 in overtime.
Freshman Kyla Irwin emerged from a scramble to score the winning basket with three seconds left in overtime. Bridget King made a gutsy play on the sequence, fighting with multiple Central Dauphin players to save the ball after a Jenna Altomare miss. King kept the ball in State College’s possession, giving Irwin an open layup.
Altomare led the Lady Little Lions (2-0) with a game-high 27 points.
She scored 12 on four 3-pointers and forced overtime by hitting two free throws with 11 seconds left in regulation.
Irwin added 13 points and also hit two free throws in the final minute of regulation.
State College coach Bethany Irwin called winning the program’s debut game as a Mid-Penn member a “huge” accomplishment.
“One of our mottos is: ‘Leave our mark,’” she said. “It was our first time coming into a league game and we knew it was going to be tough. We have played Mid-Penn teams on our schedule before, but we have never played them all twice in a season. We want the girls to leave their mark and go after it. They want after it tonight. It was a great team effort.”
Santora Carson led Central Dauphin with 21 points.
The game was tied at 20 entering halftime. State College held a one-point lead entering the fourth.
State College visits Central Dauphin East on Friday.