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Northern Cambria proved it wasn’t a one-trick pony on Sunday afternoon in a PIAA Class AA girls’ quarterfinal basketball game at Slippery Rock University.

The chameleon-like Colts adapted to what Girard gave them offensively and cranked their defense up a notch in the second half to come away with a 41-30 victory. The game had been postponed from Friday night due to inclement weather.

“We knew as a team that Northern Cambria could move, they’re very quick and they have good ball handlers that could spread the court on us, and that’s exactly what happened,” Girard coach Larry Seneta said. “I think we would have been OK, if we could have made some shots. That’s a credit to their defense.”

Northern Cambria’s win against Girard sets up an all-District 6 Western Final with Bishop McCort on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Pitt-Johnstown. The Colts and Crushers met in the district championship with Northern Cambria earning the title.

Northern Cambria senior Jen Valeria topped the Colts’ scoring with 12 points with fellow senior Brittany Sedlock pulling down six rebounds and scoring 11, including topping the 1,000-point mark.

“Our main thing, obviously, was to get the win,” said Sedlock, who came into the game needing 10 points to hit the milestone. “It’s an accomplishment and I’m honored to have gotten it, but credit my teammates; if we hadn’t made it this far, I wouldn’t have gotten my 1,000th.”

Sophomore Janae Dunchack supplied 10 points and six boards with Breanna Kochinsky adding six points and Ariel Rocco, two points and five rebounds.

“We really like to play defense,” said Dunchack, who shadowed point guard Kara Wilson most of the game. “We think the more we play defense then the less we have to play offense, though we still try to play hard in both parts.”

Wilson was the lone Yellowjacket to score in double figures with 10 points, eight in the final three minutes.

The first quarter featured two ties and four lead changes with the District 10 runners-up holding an 11-9 advantage.

Northern Cambria outscored Girard 9-8 in the second quarter, but still trailed by a point at the half, 19-18.

“We knew they would try to slow it down as much as possible and I think the score at halftime indicated that,” Thomas said. “I told them at halftime, that now was the time and they didn’t want to be looking back with regrets. I told them to put their best performance out there and they did that.”

Thomas seemed to flip a switch on his defense in the third quarter as the Colts picked up their intensity, forcing eight Yellowjacket turnovers and holding Girard to just one point.

“We came out and played great defense, our girls wanted to be in the final four,” Thomas said. “We finally got the ball running a little bit in the second half because of the superb defense.”

After tying the game at 20 on two Valeria free throws with 3:49 left, Sedlock hit one of two free throws to put the Colts ahead for good. Northern Cambria outscored Girard 10-1 for a 28-20 lead after three.

The Colts continued to build their lead in the fourth, increasing their advantage to as much as 15 points while holding the Yellowjackets scoreless until Wilson’s 3-pointer with 2:33 left.

The final margin of victory might have been greater, but Northern Cambria struggled from the free-throw line, going just 11 of 22 in the fourth.

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