Lancaster Pa. – The Penn State Harrisburg Lady Lions waited a full year for today's playoff rematch against the Keuka Storm. Saturday's conference semi-final matchup is now the fourth straight year the teams have met in post season play. The past three years have all fallen in favor of the Storm, which after today probably feels more like a never ending hurricane as Keuka again ended the Lions hope for a championship 81-68.
Harrisburg started the game strong with both teams battling end to end over the first twelve minutes. With 8:08 to go in the half the Lions were down just three points 16-13. The Storm then went on a 15-8 run to finish the half. Thankfully, Mercedes Copeland (Reading, Pa. / Reading) finished the half for the Lions with a buzzer beating hard drive to the basket to bring the game within ten and swung some of the momentum back towards the blue and white.
The second half started with the Lions going on a little run thanks to the inspiring play of Lucky Snypse (Philadelphia, Pa. / George Washington Carver of Engineering and Science). She scored a basket and two free throws early in the second half to get Harrisburg within six at the 16:34 mark. Snypse scored 9 points, 8 rebounds, and had 3 steals in just twenty minutes of play.
Following the small run, Keuka responded back quickly with a 13-6 run of their own grabbing another double digit lead 46-33 with only 11:51 to play. Jasmine Yanich (Harrisburg, Pa. / Susquehanna Township), may have played the best game of her season as the young player took charge of the floor and did everything she could to revive the lions in the second half. Her three point shot with 10:24 to play brought Harrisburg back within reach 46-38.
Keuka responded with a 10-0 run over the next 2:54 in the game. That gave the Storm an 18 point lead of 56-38 with only 7:28 remaining. Harrisburg fought hard and never gave up, but every time they started to get close, a Keuka three pointer or extra shot from an offensive rebound would shut down the Lions attempts at making a comeback.
The game finished with Harrisburg starting to really make some shots and play some defense, but it was too late. The Storm shut off Harrisburg's power and season for a fourth straight year 81-68.
Mercedes Copeland and Miranda Zeanchock(Carrolltown, Pa. / Cambria Heights) both scored 18 points to lead the team. Copeland's offensive threat is too much for most teams and she finishes her freshman season with a target on her back for next year after some amazing play all season long.
It was sad for everyone to see Harrisburg's two senior leaders Amanda Moyer (Carlisle, Pa. / Cumberland Valley) and Steph Yetter (Thompsontown, Pa. / East Juniata) come off the court toward the end of the game. They will leave some very large shoes to fill with Moyer's constant double-double presence and Yetter finishing her senior year with the title of being Harrisburg's number one career leading scorer.
Today's game felt a little disappointing, knowing how close we were to a conference championship. With how strong this extremely young squad finished and Coach Patrick at the helm makes me believe the future will be bright. Until next season, stay classy Harrisburg.
Coach Ross had to say about this year's exciting season. "Our season has ended with a disappointing loss, but our players havewon the hearts of their teammates, their fans, and their coaches. It was such a privilege to be their coach, and I will always appreciate
what our two seniors Amanda and Steph as well as their families, and what they have done to help lay the foundation for Penn State Harrisburg Women's Basketball. Thank you to all of the support from our fans and families, you are all very appreciated! Lady