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Bordonaro boosts East girls to 79-72 victory in Cager Classic

| Saturday, March 28, 2015, 11:33 p.m.
Steven Dietz | Trib Total Media
Burrell's Sydney Bordonaro (left) drives against Hampton's Maddy Neligan during the Cager Classic on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Highlands.
Steven Dietz | Trib Total Media
West Shamokin's Lizzy Cornish drives on Hampton's Maddy Neligan during the Cager Classic on Saturday, March 28th, 2015, at Highlands.

It took Sydney Bordonaro and her East teammates one half of play to get into gear.But when they did, it resulted in a spectacular second half and a 79-72 victory Saturday in the 19th annual Cager Classic at Highlands.

Down 34-24 at halftime, the East collected 55 second-half points, including 18 by Bordonaro

“There was a little bit of an adjustment in the second half,” East coach Al Davis said. “We got that high pick-and-roll going. Tiffany (Montgomery), we got her at more of a shooting guard. She got four threes and got us some separation.”

Bordonaro was named East MVP. The Burrell senior and Pepperdine recruit had 25 points, seven assists and six steals.

“That first half, we were all kind of out of sync,” said Bordonaro, who plans on becoming a sports broadcaster. “That's probably because we weren't used to playing with each other. The second half, it got all good.”

The East's 55 second-half points were one short of the Classic record for points in a half.

Of those 55 points, 12 were on four 3-pointers by Montgomery, who scored 13.

The biggest East deficit was 28-16 with 6:03 left in the half.

“The girls enjoyed themselves, that was the main thing,” Davis said. “Even when they were losing, they were having fun.”

Ali Goetz of Mars was the West MVP. She scored 15 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.

Goetz enjoyed the atmosphere of a near-sellout crowd in a forum where a player can display her true talents.

“It was so cool,” Goetz said. “The atmosphere was so positive, and I really enjoyed it.”

Goetz plans to continue playing at Penn State Behrend, where she will major in education. Her Planets teammate, Sara Getsy, had 14 points.

St. Francis (Pa.) recruit Courtney Zezza of Plum had 13 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots for the East.

Ford City's Christina Davis didn't score but contributed six steals for the East.

For the West, Hampton's Natalie Donegan had 10 rebounds and five assists.

It was the grand finale of a great varsity coaching career for Davis. A Vietnam veteran, he compiled a 294-106 record over 16 seasons.

His Sabers teams made the playoffs each season, including a trip to the WPIAL finals in 2007.

Davis, 65, is expected to help out with the junior high boys at the new Armstrong High School.

The crowd was silenced with 4:49 left to go when Bordonaro slammed the right side of her face on the hardwood after a collision. The Highlands training staff was just a few feet away and rushed onto the floor.

After a brief delay, Bordonaro got up under her own power and, following a brief time on the bench, returned to action.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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