By Charlie Sisian and Brendan Fahey
The Conestoga Pioneers took the court for the first time in 20 days Tuesday night as they faced the Penncrest Lions. They hoped to continue where they left off and maintain their number one seed in the Central League.
Stoga started the game hot but Penncrest quickly responded with dominant offensive rebounding and a quick three-point flurry. However, the Pioneers remained unfazed, and by end of the first quarter, the score was 17-16 in favor of the lions.
As the second quarter began, Stoga created many takeways, leading to easy fast-break layups. To try to respond, the Lions continued to hoist threes, but struggled to connect. After switiching to a zone defense, Stoga made three pointers of their own, and swayed the momentum heavily following an thunderous alley oop off, one-handed dunk of an inbounds pass. As halftime came to a close, Stoga led 27-23.
The Pioneers opened the second half in a close defensive battle with the Lions. However, as the clock ticked past the halfway mark, both teams sought to make up for the lost time. Penncrest caught fire from downtown, and Stoga kept up with timely steals, a great post play, and a few midrange jumpers. The teams finished the quarter neck and neck, with Penncrest leading 40-37
After a continued back and forth between the two teams, Stoga pulled away late in the fourth quarter. Big blocks, a dominant performance on the boards, and many fast break points were keys to Conestoga’s 10-0 fourth quarter run, sealing the game for the Pioneers.
Stoga now sits at 4-1, with a first-place spot in the Central League. With only one game to go in the regular season, Stoga sits in a good position to succeed going into the Central League Tournament. Roll Neers!