High School Sports

State College girls’ basketball tops Northampton in double overtime to win Kiwanis Holiday Classic


As much drama as there was in the Kiwanis Holiday Classic boys’ basketball championship game, the girls’ game had just as much and then some.

State College and Northampton couldn’t finish the game in four quarters.

They had to go six with the Lady Little Lions (4-2) coming out on top 65-61 on Thursday night.

“They have a really good team,” State College assistant coach Jamie Brennan said of Northampton. “They were a lot faster than we expected and we had to adapt. I have to give credit to our kids. Our kids made the right decisions and did a lot of things on their own.”

In the second overtime, Maya Bokunewicz drove to the middle of the paint to draw Northampton’s Aja Blount, and threaded a pass between Blount and another defender to a wide-open Selena Mann. The sophomore finished the play off with a bucket and State College led 63-61.

“I saw Maya break her defender down and come down the middle,” Mann said. “I knew I had to stay in the ‘dunker’s spot.’ I knew if she saw me, it was a clear pass. I just knew I had to make it. It was for Maya and the rest of the team.”

Mann finished the game with just four points with those two points coming at a critical moment.

“Selena came on strong there at the end,” Brennan said. “Selena has been doing a lot for us. She really came through when we needed it.”

Denaya Poston also played a key role in the overtime period for the Lady Little Lions.

Northampton’s Victoria Keenan had a breakaway off a State College turnover, but Poston raced back, planted her feet and drew a charge. Following a Bokunewicz score that tied the game at 61-61, Poston again drew a charge on Keenan, leading the way to Bokunewicz’s connection with Mann.

All game long the Konkrete Kids were looking to play through Blount. She did her part.

She finished with a game-high 37 points on 14 field goals. Blount was also 9 of 11 from the free throw line.

“They have a great player in that 52,” Brennan said of the center.

The Lady Little Lions had a trio of players finish with double-digit scoring in Bokunewicz (12), Kayla Hawbaker (13) and Taylor Love (13).

Love scored all of State College’s six points in the first overtime to keep the game going.

“This group of girls, they wanted this so badly,” Brennan said. “They’ve been working together for the past seven weeks now. Its such a nice group of kids. They don’t know each other very well because we have freshmen playing with seniors. They are really doing a good job of getting to know each other as basketball players.”

Notes: Love and Hawbaker were selected to the All-Tournament Team along with Burrell’s Brooke Smith, North Schuylkill’s Samantha Shinkus and Northamptons’ Blount and Jenna Rogers. … Keenan was the only other scorer in double figures for the Konkrete Kids with 13 points. … North Schuylkill beat Burrell 65-49 in the consolation game. ... State College hits the road on Jan. 3 against Cumberland Valley.

Nate Cobler: 814-231-4609, @ncoblercdt