TUNKHANNOCK — Lackawanna Trail struggled to generate offense early in games many times this season.
That was the case again during the fifth-seeded Lady Lions’ 53-42 loss to fourth-seeded Mountain View in a District 2 Class 2A girls basketball quarterfinal game Tuesday evening.
Mountain View started the game on a 9-0 run, over the first four minutes, and led 18-7 at the end of the first quarter. Four different players scored for the Lady Eagles, led by Lucy Adams’ five, in the quarter. Cali Fauquier had all seven of Trail’s points.
“The first five minutes of probably 70 percent of our games this year we didn’t score and then it’s kind of hard to even try to compete with a team,” Lackawanna Trail head coach Lauren Sheakoski said. “I feel we battled well with them, but when you score seven and give up 18 in the first quarter, it’s hard to come back.”
Lackawanna Trail (5-18) cut its deficit to seven points three times in the second quarter, once on a basket by Rachael Beemer with 2:53 left in the half and twice on baskets from Fauquier, but Mountain View’s Sydney Newhart scored four consecutive points to stretch the Lady Eagles’ lead back to 11.
Newhart filled the stat sheet for Mountain View. The junior forward scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked five shots and had four assists.
“Her whole heart was in it,” Mountain View head coach Ashley Kilmer said. “All the girls work hard and you can see, at this time in the season, that they’re digging deep. They don’t want their season to end, so you can see the motivation.”
Mountain View (11-12) started the second half with a 9-0 run and led 40-20 with 5:33 left in the third quarter.
“I say we have to set the tempo and we didn’t come out and do it,” Sheakoski said. “When you get nine points scored on you in a row and don’t put up any points, you’re digging yourself in a bigger hole.”
Lady Lions senior forward Laurelann Penn, who finished with 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds, scored eight during an 11-2 run to pull Trail back within 11 with just under a minute left in the third quarter.
“You can never count Trail out; they’re always a threat,” Kilmer said. “Even with a little bit of a lead, you’re never really comfortable because they have good outside shooters. They can come back in a hurry.”
Mountain View senior Samantha Jones, who had nine points and five rebounds, hit three free throws to push the lead back to 14 heading to the fourth quarter.
Lackawanna Trail junior forward Fauquier scored six of her game-high 19 points in the fourth.
“It’s what I know she can do, so hopefully she keeps getting in the gym,” Sheakoski said.
Despite the loss, Sheakoski believes Trail’s three seniors — Ally Decker, Penn and Lexie Kwiatkowski — have left a lasting legacy.
“When I came in (as coach) they were all sophomores, so I watched them grow from young girls to young women,” she said. “It’s always tough. They’re not ready for basketball to be over, either are we. They are a great group of girls that worked hard every day and wanted to get better. They were the start of (Lackawanna) Trail basketball making a turnaround.”
Mountain View will play top-seeded Northwest Area (13-9), in the semifinals, at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at Berwick.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.