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Bill Pribisco | for the Ligonier Echo
Ligonier’s Olivia Miller, (left) keeps ahead of a Blairsville Bobcat on her charge to the basket at a recent varsity basketball game. Taken on 1/10/2014 at the Ligonier High School
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By Peter Turcik
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 9:27 a.m.
 

The Ligonier Valley High School girls basketball team played host to conference opponents Blairsville and Purchase Line recently. The Lady Rams lost 68-41 to Blairsville but won 58-24 over Purchase Line, bringing Ligonier's conference record to 4-3.

Ligonier head coach Valerie Ray described the team had moments of panic and moments of greatness, explaining that the squad tried to drive to the basket too often, turning the ball over to the strong Wildcats defense. Ray tried to rein the team back to shooting from 10 to 12 feet from the hoop, which she said helped slow the game down and stop the turnovers.

“Unfortunately my girls are prone to going to the hoop and Blairsville is not going to let you go to the hoop. They protect it very well,” Ray commented. “When we held back and took the little jumpers we were successful. We just didn't have enough time to finish,” Ray said.

The Lady Rams kept the score close in the first quarter, allowing Blairsville a four-point lead. However, two straight quarters scoring in the single digits allowed the Wildcats to take a 10-point lead into halftime and a 34-point lead into the fourth quarter. Ligonier competed closely again in the fourth, putting up 17 points to Blairsville's 20.

Madison McLaughlin led scoring for Ligonier with 13. Olivia Miller put up 11 points, while Taylor Rudnik scored 10, Amanda Ross finished with five and Helene Bloom sank a basket, grabbed six rebounds and blocked four shots.

The Rams came out swinging against Purchase Line, putting up 20 points in the first quarter and blanking the Red Dragons. Despite being outscored in the second, Ligonier took a 29-13 lead into the half and kept the game out of reach. Purchase Line only managed to score 11 more points in the game, including two in the fourth quarter while Ligonier put up 29 more points in the second half.

Freshman Olivia Miller had her highest scoring game of the season, with 15 points. This total was matched by Rudnik, who sank three from behind the 3-point line, grabbed 10 rebounds and made six steals. McLaughlin followed with 13 points, Jamie Wynn, who scored eight, Kari Kuhn put up three and Kacie Flickinger and Brenna Kolesar each contributed two points.

The Ligonier team will take to the home court 7:15 p.m. Tuesday for a conference showdown with Marion Center.

Peter Turcik is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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