LOCKPORT – In the championship game of the Oswego East Tournament, the Lockport girls basketball team saw its winning streak snapped at 11 with a loss to Sycamore.
On Tuesday, the Porters looked to begin a new streak against Providence Catholic.
The Celtics had something to say about that, however, and improved their record to 16-2 by coming away with a 46-41 nonconference win behind four clutch free throws by Annalise Pietrzyk in the final 1:18.
For most of the game, not only was the outcome in doubt, but also which team was in control. When one team switched things up and had success, the other team had a counter and answered. Apart from the final score, the largest lead for any team was when Providence (16-2) held an 11-4 advantage late in the first quarter.
Lockport (13-6) closed that gap to 11-8 early in the second before a 3-pointer by Pietrzyk (11 points) put Providence up, 14-8. Lockport’s defense clamped down the rest of the half, and the Porters took a 22-20 lead into halftime.
Neither team could get much going after intermission, as only a pair of free throws by Providence’s Megan Duzansky (10 points, six rebounds) were scored before the mask break midway through the period. Providence got a 3-pointer by Kelly Knight (team-high 12 points) coming out of the break before Lockport’s Alaina Peetz, who led all scorers with 14 points, converted a three-point play to tie it at 25. Providence got three points by Duzansky before Peetz ended the quarter with a basket, and the Celtics took a 28-27 lead into the fourth.
“We know that playing big schools like Lockport or Lincoln-Way Central or Sandburg, they are going to have some depth,” Providence coach Eileen Copenhaver said. “When you play a team like that, it’s a grind of a game, and that’s how this one was.
“We tried to do some different things on defense, and we got a couple turnovers. But, give Lockport credit. They made some adjustments and figured it out, and we had to change.”
Lockport took a 32-30 lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Elizabeth Sochacki, but Knight answered with a 3 of her own for Providence. The Celtics edged ahead, 36-33, before Lockport got a basket by Veronica Bafia, then a fast break layup by Angelica Bafia off a steal by Veronica Bafia, to take a 37-36 lead at the mask break with 3:59 to play.
Lockport’s Charlotte Fahrner made a pair of free throws to put the Porters ahead, 39-36, with 3:29 to play. Providence answered with a basket by Erin Vallone (six points, nine rebounds), and teammate Gabi Bednar hit a 3-pointer to push the Celtics out to a 41-39 lead. Peetz then tied it with a basket in the lane with 1:31 to play.
At the 1:18 mark, Pietrzyk was fouled. After having missed her first five free-throw attempts of the game, she sank both for a 43-41 lead. Knight went 1 of 2 from the line with 23.3 seconds left, and Pietrzyk put the game out of reach with 3.2 seconds left by hitting two more free throws. For the game, Providence was 11 of 23 from the foul line, while Lockport was almost perfect at 10 of 11.
“We missed 12 free throws,” Copenhaver said. “But Annalise was able to hit four down the stretch and give us the lead. She also did a great job defensively on No. 22 [Sochacki]. We knew she was their best three-point shooter, and Annalise didn’t let her get many shots off.
“We also rebounded very well. This was a good, fun game.”
Peetz added six rebounds for Lockport, while Sochacki had five. Angelica Bafia had a team-high 10 rebounds for the Porters. Vallone led Providence with nine rebounds and Duzansky had six rebounds and blocked two shots.
“This was back and forth all game,” Lockport coach Dan Kelly said. “I am proud of the effort our girls gave. We just needed to make a couple more plays. We did a lot of good things and we keep playing better. This was a nice non-conference game to tune us up for the conference season.”