NEPA Sports Nation

Old Forge girls down Holy Cross

DUNMORE – Old Forge coach Pete Sulla likes to make sure Talia Piragas always remains involved in the offense.

Piragas stayed involved Monday night and the Lady Devils continued their upward trend during Monday night’s Lackawanna League Division 3 girls basketball opener at Holy Cross.

With Piragas scoring a game-high 20 points and putting herself in the middle of the two extended, first-half runs, the Lady Devils kept rolling with a 48-26 victory.

“We try to use her,” Sulla said. “Every time down the floor, we try to give her a touch and good things happen when she does touch the ball.

“She’s really good at going to the basket. Her ‘big’ moves have gotten better and she’s really good at distributing the basketball if she doesn’t have a shot.”

The Lady Devils, the sixth-place team in the division last season, took control early against Holy Cross, which was third a year ago, but has been hit hard by graduation.

Despite working with a roster of just eight players, Old Forge is the fifth-ranked Small School girls team in the Riverfront Sports Super Six Basketball Power Rankings of District 2 teams. At 6-2 overall, Monday’s win allowed Old Forge to match the victory total from last season when it was 6-16.

“We’re really starting to jell as a team and are starting to play some good basketball,” Sulla said.

Piragas joined Leah Domiano in a 10-0 start, then hit a 3-pointer while Jewlya McCullon was leading the way in a 12-0 run to a 24-4 lead early in the second quarter.

McCullon finished with 18 points, 9 of which came in the second quarter after Piragas had scored 9 in the first quarter.

“Jewlya is playing really good defense and she’s able to shoot the ball and create for herself,” Sulla said.

Domiano scored all six of her points in the first 4:01 with a 3-pointer and a three-point play for a 10-0 lead. Piragas opened the scoring with a free throw and also hit a 3-pointer.

Old Forge held Holy Cross without a point for the first 4:14 and without a field goal for the first 5:51.

Piragas scored on a putback for a 12-1 lead before Jenna Luciani hit a 3-pointer for the only Holy Cross field goal of the first quarter.

The Lady Devils responded with the last seven points of the first quarter and the first five of the second quarter for the 24-4 lead.

McCullon hit a spinning shot in the lane, Piragas made her second 3-pointer and Lauryn Olivieri made a 10-footer with four seconds left for a 19-4 lead at the quarter. McCullon added a 3-pointer and two free throws to open the second-quarter scoring.

Piragas began the second half with a three-point play off another putback for the first of its two 22-point leads, 32-10. She had seven of the team’s eight points in the third quarter.

Holy Cross closed the gap to 15 points in the third quarter, but McCullon kept Old Forge well in front with nine points in the fourth quarter.

Abby Thompson had six points for the Lady Crusaders (1-7 overall) in the third quarter. She finished with a team-high 13 points.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was created from the reporting of Paul Gerrity.

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