HAMBURG — Rachel McDonald hadn’t made a basket as March 11’s state playoff game against Gettysburg entered crunch time.

When she found space late against the Warriors’ tight defense, though, she didn’t hesitate to shoot.

The junior’s sharpshooting nearly helped save Abington Heights’ season.

McDonald drilled two huge 3-pointers as the Lady Comets rallied, and a third seemed destined to give them the lead, but the ball rimmed out and wound up in Gettysburg’s hands.

The Warriors didn’t let Abington Heights get another chance, running out the final 18 seconds to preserve a 45-44 victory in the Class 5A girls basketball playoffs.

Camryn Felix made five 3-pointers to lead the Warriors with 16 points. Anne Bair finished with 11, and Lily Natter scored 10.

Erin Albright, Clair Marion and Maria Tully each scored 10 points for the Lady Comets (20-6).

McDonald had zero points until Abington Heights was in desperate need of a spark, trailing, 44-35, in the closing minutes.

When Allison Dammer rebounded Anna Scoblick’s missed 3, she kicked back to the top of the arc to McDonald. Her catch-and-shoot trey swished for a 44-38 deficit with 1:40 to go.

Gettysburg then missed two free throws, and with one minute on the clock, Tully spotted up in the corner for a 3-pointer that made it 44-41.

A 1-for-2 trip to the foul line gave the Warriors a 45-41 edge, McDonald buried a corner 3 in front of her bench, which mobbed her after a timeout was called as the deficit shrunk to 45-44 with 40.2 seconds to play.

“I was happy to give us a chance,” McDonald said. “If we give ourselves a chance, anything can happen.

“Our team really fights until the end. We weren’t going to give up.”

The Lady Comets showed that on the ensuing possession when Scoblick snuck behind Cheyenne Proctor, poked away her dribble and hit the floor as she batted the ball ahead to Tully.

Tully was fouled by Bair before she could drive for a go-ahead layup attempt.

It let Gettysburg settle on defense and hold on, barely, as McDonald’s next 3 was just off the mark. The Warriors rebounded and passed all around the floor to run out the clock.

Gettysburg led, 26-14, late in the second quarter. Bair’s guard play drew help defense that let forwards like 5-foot-11 Taylor Richardson slide in the paint for layups, while guards Felix and Proctor curled outside the arc for open 3s at other times. The Lady Comets were cold at the other end, and Natter’s 6-foot-2 presence at the rim didn’t help.

After halftime, the Lady Comets switched to a zone and a box-and-one to try to neutralize Bair, head coach Deanna Klingman said. Their defensive intensity picked up, highlighted by Dammer’s rejection of a layup to keep the deficit at four late as the Lady Comets clawed back.

Abington Heights’ season ended in the state’s Sweet 16 for the second time in three years.

“I know they’re disappointed, but I’m really proud of the effort that they showed,” Klingman said.

“The whole year, I knew we’re fighters. We played in some really big games throughout the year. I think our league is a terrific test for us with Scranton Prep and West Scranton. It really gave us some great competition throughout the year.”


Tommy Walsh, of Elk Mountain Ski Club and Abington Heights, finished 26th at U16 at the recent Pennsylvania Alpine Racing Association State Championships.

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