The State College girls’ basketball team didn’t walk off the court as winners Thursday night — but they know their dreams of a state title run aren’t over just yet.
The Lady Little Lions fell to Altoona 50-38 at Hollidaysburg in the District 6 Class 6A championship, as the Mountain Lions punched their ticket to states. But State College (16-6) will now have one more chance at states by moving onto a three-team District 6-8-10 subregional — with the winner advancing to the state tournament.
“Our message after the game was we’re practicing (Friday) at 4, and we got a game next week,” Lady Little Lions coach Chris Leazier said. “And our objective is to get ready for it and be back in the 32-team state tournament.”
State College will face the winner of Tuesday’s Allderdice-Erie game, and the winner of that will then advance to the state tournament. Although the date of State College’s next game is not yet official, Leazier believed it would likely fall on March 2 at a neutral site.
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Although the Lady Little Lions lost Thursday, they were still in it until late.
State College led 26-23 until about three-and-a-half minutes left in the third quarter, and that’s when their lack of long-range success began to build. Altoona pounced by ending the period on an 8-0 run and the momentum continued into the fourth.
“That was really the difference because we could never flip the game after that,” Leazier said. “Things just kind of got away from us.”
Maya Bokunewicz paced the Lady Little Lions with a team-high 15 points, and Isabelle Leazier added 11. Altoona’s Olivia Hudson also scored 17 points despite foul trouble.
“That represented a big difference in the game,” Leazier added.