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Mar. 13—SELINSGROVE — Lew Dellegrotti liked to sneak to the far corner of the court during foul shots when he was a high-scoring guard at Berwick back in the 1970s. So when thinking of ways to get Shikellamy junior guard Tori Scheller an open look in crunch time Friday, Dellegrotti took a page from his past.
"Believe it or not, that is something I did back in 1972. We had that play," Dellegrotti said. "She can hit that corner shot. It's a way to get her a real good look."
With offense at a premium in the district final and her team trailing by two, Scheller took up a spot in the corner before Selinsgrove's Lizzy Diehl took a second foul shot in the final half-minute.
The Braves pulled the rebound on the missed shot, and Shikellamy senior Jordan Moten quickly pushed the ball upcourt. Moten then found Scheller, who buried a 3-pointer with 22.2 seconds left to lift Shikellamy to the District 4 Class 5A championship, 32-30.
"Coach thought it would be good idea, and he was right," Scheller said. "Jordan and I just made eye contact right before the foul shot. I knew (the shot) was in instantly."
"(Tori) and I are similar players, and we are both good shooters," Moten said. "We know where we are both going to be without really talking, so that really helps."
Shikellamy (5-12) will now face District 11 champion Bethlehem Catholic in a subregional game next week in Bethlehem on a day and time to be determined.
Selinsgrove finished its season at 7-6.
"I'm proud of my kids. We've been struggling to put the ball in the basket all year," Dellegrotti said. "We kept telling them, 'Be confident.' God love them, they came through."
The Braves led by three to start the fourth quarter, but neither team could get anything going offensively. Alyssa Latsha's putback for the Seals with 4:12 left in the game cut Shikellamy's lead to 26-25.
Moten, who had a game-high three assists, found Averi Dodge for an elbow jumper with 2:08 left to push the Braves lead to 28-25. Avery DeFazio converted back-to-back baskets for the Seals, the last coming with 32 seconds left in the game to bump Selinsgrove ahead 29-28.
Diehl was then fouled after Selinsgrove got a steal. Diehl made the first free throw, which was followed by Scheller's 3-pointer, but the game wasn't over quite yet.
The Seals attacked the basket after a timeout, but Scheller got a steal and sent the ball ahead to Paige Fausey who made one of two foul shots to give Shikellamy a 32-30 lead. The Braves took a timeout with 1.8 seconds left, giving the Seals a chance for a shot. Their 3-point attempt was short, giving the Braves their first district title since 2010.
"We're used to (low-scoring games). I hate to say it, but we're used to it," Moten said. "We keep encouraging each other, and we keep thinking we're going to get off to a fast start, but it doesn't work out for us. I think in the end, we truly get (our shooting stroke back), and it worked out in the end."
When Veronica Stanford knocked down a 3-pointer with 7:09 left in the first quarter the Seals led 14-4. The Braves started the game by hitting just 1 of 14 shots.
As they began the long climb back into the game, the Braves' defense put the clamps on the Seals. Selinsgrove had four field goals in the first nine minutes of the game, and made just five field goals the rest of the way.
"We struggled with defense at the beginning of the year, because we were all guards," Moten said, "but we worked hard all year to get better."
Dellegrotti added: "We had an issue the first time we played them (a 49-42 Selinsgrove win on March 1) with back-door layups on us. They got no back-door layups on us tonight. Everything was contested.
"They played old-fashioned Shik defense."
Dodge finally made a shot for the Braves with 5:59 left in the second quarter. Scheller followed with a 3-pointer, and Shikellamy was suddenly within 14-9.
"We just work together as a team, and we stay confident in each other," Scheller said. "We'll hit one shot, and just finally get it going from there."
Selinsgrove built its lead back to seven late in the half. Moten hit a foul shot with 28.6 seconds left, and Dodge took a rebound coast-to-coast just before the buzzer to cut the margin to 19-15 at the break.
The third quarter was all Braves, who took their first lead of the game. Moten hit a 3-pointer early in the third to spark an 11-2 run that gave Shikellamy a 26-20 lead with 1:36 left in the third.
Moten finished with 10 points to lead Shikellamy, while Dodge and Scheller each scored eight. DeFazio had 10 points to lead Selinsgrove.
DISTRICT 4 CLASS 5A CHAMPIONSHIP
SHIKELLAMY 32, SELINSGROVE 30
Shikellamy (5-12) 32
Melanie Minnier 1 0-0 2; Averi Dodge 4 0-0 8; Jordan Moten 3 2-4 10; Tori Scheller 3 0-0 8; Paige Fausey 1 2-3 4. Totals 12 4-7 32.
3-point goals: Moten 2, Scheller 2.
Did not score: Emma Bronowicz, Lily Wiest.
Selinsgrove (7-6) 30
Lexy Gabrielson 1 1-2 4; Alyssa Latsha 1 0-2 2; Avery DeFazio 3 4-4 10; Lizzy Diehl 1 1-2 3; Cierra Adams 1 3-4 5; Emily Davis 0 0-2 0; Veronica Stanford 2 0-0 6. Totals 9 9-16 30.
3-point goals: Stanford 2, Gabrielson.
Did not score: Katie Shaffer.
Score by quarters
Shikellamy'4'11'11'6 — 32
Selinsgrove'11'8'4'7 — 30