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Girls basketball: Greensburg takes step closer to EIAC title

Jan. 8—GREENSBURG — With just two conference games left on the schedule, the Lady Pirates took a big step toward capturing the EIAC championship with a 68-50 victory over Franklin County Saturday.

Coming into the game, both teams were 4-0 in the EIAC. With the win, the Lady Pirates improve to 13-3 on the season and 5-0 in the EIAC. Franklin County drops to 11-5 and 4-1 in the EIAC.

Although the final margin was 18 points, it was not easy going for Greensburg in the early stages. Franklin County standout Nicole Mears opened the scoring in the game with a free throw. Greensburg took the lead on a fade-away jumper by Leah West and bucket by Claire Larrison.

After a Mears bucket for the Lady Wildcats, Aly Powers scored her first two points. Franklin County knotted the game with a bucket by Ruby Singer. Carlee "for 3" Adams hit a 3-pointer to put Greensburg back in front. With 1:12 on the first quarter clock, Franklin County tied the game at 11-11 with two more Mears free throws. Larrison's rebound bucket for Greensburg closed the quarter with the Lady Pirates up 13-11.

Larrison made it four straight points with a drive to open the second quarter. After two free throws by Franklin County's Kendall Cox, Larrison scored on a rebound put back to put Greensburg up by four. Mears scored six straight for Franklin County, with a Powers rebound bucket for Greensburg mixed in, to tie the game at 19-19.

Adams hit a deep 3-pointer from the right wing Greensburg up by three. A drive by Franklin County's Bailey Kaiser followed, but Powers hit a 3-pointer on the other end to give the Lady Pirates a 4-point lead. After another deep 3-pointer by Adams, bucket by West and free throw by West, Greensburg led by eight.

Franklin County's Madesyn Sunderhaus connected from long range at the horn to cut the deficit to 31-26 at the break.

Franklin County opened the third quarter on a 7-2 run. A bucket by Mears tied the game at 33-33. Greensburg regained the lead 35-33 with a floater by Powers and later at 35-33 on a bucket by Emma McQueen. A bucket by Powers off the Larrison assist and a 3-pointer by Powers extended the Greensburg lead to 42-35.

Singer scored for Franklin County to slow the momentum, but Greensburg was not done in the third. Another Powers bomb started an 8-2 Greensburg run, capped by a steal and bucket by Powers to give the Lady Pirates a 50-39 lead. West's bucket closed the quarter with Greensburg in control, up 52-39.

Franklin County's Singer hit a 3-pointer to give the Lady Wildcats hope of a comeback, but that was squashed as West hit a 3-pointer and two free throws to push the lead to 15 points.

Franklin County closed the gap to 12 before Greensburg's Mary Harmon and West had back-to-back scores. The lead grew to 17 on a Harmon free throw and bucket by Powers near the two minute mark. Franklin County could only get as close as 16 the rest of the way as the Lady Pirates sailed to the 18-point win.

Three Lady Pirates scored in double figures: Powers 26, West 14 and Larrison 14. Adams added nine followed by Harmon five and McQueen two.

Larrison grabbed a team-high 15 rebounds and dished out a team-high four assists. Powers and Harmon both had three assists.

Mears led Franklin County with 20 points followed by Singer 14, Sunderhaus eight, Cox six and Kaiser two.

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at aaron.kirchoff@greensburgdailynews.com.