SHANKSVILLE – Rylee Snyder scored all 12 of her team’s points in the first quarter of Wednesday’s WestPAC girls basketball semifinal contest.
In fact, the Shanksville-Stonycreek High School sophomore tallied the Vikings’ first 14 points in the game.
Snyder sparked the Vikings. Shanksville-Stonycreek’s steady defense and rebounding did the rest in a low-scoring 39-26 victory over visiting Windber, the defending conference champion.
“I just thought, ‘Keep going,’ ” said Snyder, who finished with 18 points and five rebounds for 20-3 Shanksville-Stonycreek.
“We were on a run. We had to keep going. Our plays, we were posting up. It just worked. We got the ball in and just scored.”
The South top-seeded Vikings advanced to play North top-seed Portage in the WestPAC title game at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Pitt-Johnstown’s Sports Center.
Portage beat visiting Shade, 69-38 in Wednesday’s other semifinal.
“She was locked in and just was ready to play,” Crognale said of Snyder’s ability to capitalize on screens and passes by her teammates.
“She worked the ball well and used the glass really well. She was cutting open in key moments and wanted the ball in key moments.”
Sophomore Josie Snyder had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Vikings.
Hannah Platt had 10 rebounds and four points.
“We were pushing the ball really good,” Josie Snyder said.
“The second half was even better. The first half was a little rough. Rylee was posting up really good and we were able to feed it in to her.”
The Ramblers were held to 10 first-half points, two fewer than Rylee Snyder had in the opening quarter.
Windber (17-6) outscored Shanksville-Stonycreek 16-13 in the second half.
“We knew it’s pretty much a flex cut or a Holy Cross cut, something we’ve seen a lot,” Pavlosky said of Shanksville’s go-to set in the opening minutes. “I don’t know if it would be mental fatigue or something else. They got burned on it too many times. They wouldn’t adjust.
“Sometimes you have that and you try to get through to the girls. They didn’t respond well tonight, in terms of that first half.
“When that hole came, it’s very difficult to come back, especially on the road and after a three-game stretch in a row,” added Pavlosky, whose team also had games Monday and Tuesday. “They got that comfortable lead and from there it was just trying to climb the mountain.”
Senior Alayna Elliott had 10 points for the Ramblers and moved within six of the 1,000-point milestone. Junior Amanda Cominsky had six rebounds.
“Credit to Coach Crognale and his girls. They’re ready,” Pavlosky said. “A lot of people say, ‘It should be easy. They’ve only got six or seven girls.’
“They’re good basketball players and an experienced bunch even though they’re mostly sophomores. They play a lot of extra basketball. We wish them luck.”
Shanksville-Stonycreek defeated Windber 50-39 on Dec. 13, but the Ramblers beat the Vikings in the Boswell Jaycees Tournament on Dec. 27.
“Windber is a very good defensive team,” Crognale said.
“I was kind of disappointed in us offensively, but that’s a credit to them and how good defense they played. I knew this was going to be a low-scoring game.”