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3A Girls: Strong Second Half by Whitling; Three Players in Double Digits for First Time Since 2022 Helps Brookville into D9 Title Game

Samantha Whitling had 16 points, all in the second half, to help Brookville advance to the D9 3A title game with a win over Kane Tuesday.

BROCKWAY, Pa. – Building a 20-point third-quarter lead, Brookville held off a strong comeback attempt from Kane to pick up a 58-45 win in the District 9 Class 3A girls’ semifinals Tuesday night at Brockway High School.

Also see: D9 1A girls first round recapsCoudy beats Curwensville in D9 2A boys first round

“This feels great,” Brookville head coach Mark Powell, whose team won a playoff game for the first time in four years, said. “I couldn’t be happier for the kids. We set the goal this summer. We are tired of losing. Here we are. We were able to get to the playoffs. And we said we still had unfinished business. We wanted to win tonight and get a chance at Karns City again. They did just that.”

Rewatch the game


The Lady Raiders (12-11), thanks in large part to a 23-6 run that started early in the second quarter and went into the early third quarter, led 39-19 following a free-throw from Kerstyn Davie with 2:25 to play in the third quarter.

But Brookville’s top player, Eden Wonderling, had picked up her fourth foul on a bang-bang charge call with 3:58 to play in the third quarter forcing Powell to take her out of the game.

With her on the bench, Kane made a run getting nine points from Maya Smith in the final 2:10 of the quarter to close the Lady Raiders’ lead to 14, 42-28, by the end of the quarter.

The Lady Wolves (10-13) kept charging in the early parts of the fourth quarter even with Wonderling back on the court getting within eight, 46-38, on a free throw by Smith with 4:43 to play.

But sophomore Samantha Whitling wouldn’t let Kane finish the comeback.


She scored back-to-back baskets, one on a driving layup and another on a reverse layup, in a span of 18 seconds to restore the lead to 12, 50-38, with 4:16 to play.

Kane, though, had one last push in it getting a 3-pointer from Hailee Sheaffer and two straight buckets from Leah Tigani to make it a six-point game, 51-45, with 1:18 left.

But Whitling answered with another driving layup at the one-minute mark and then hit one of two free throws with 49.3 seconds left to all but seal the victory.

“Samantha played big minutes,” Powell said. “One thing about Samantha is she doesn’t allow anything negative to affect her. She just keeps going, and I give her complete credit. This was the biggest stage she’s ever played on, and late in the game, she had the ball in her hands a lot. It wasn’t always the prettiest, but she got the job done out there.”

Whitling finished with 16 points, all in the second half for Brookville.

“I knew Kane was going to come up and ball pressure us a lot,” Whitling said. “So I thought maybe I needed to get one of my teammates open or myself open in order to score the ball and run the play the whole way through. I know Mark (Powell) told me I really need to step it up if something goes wrong.”

At least four of Whitling’s baskets in the second half were on driving layups with the fifth on the reverse layup.

“When I get on the wing, I always wait for the girls to come up,” Whitling said. “I will give her a little ball fake and try and drive. That is one of my most recent moves.”

Wonderling and Davie also each scored 16 points giving Brookville three players in double digits for the first time in 52 games. The last time the Lady Raiders had three players in double figures was Jan. 18, 2022, when Wonderling (15), Jordan Cook (16), and Alayna Haight (11) did it against Oil City.

“It was nice to see some balanced scoring,” Powell said. “We haven’t had that most of the season, but tonight to see balance scoring in a big playoff game, that just gives you more options the next game. It gives those kids more confidence as you move on. At this time of year, you lose go home, you win you advance. We are trying to stay alive.”


Wonderling finished off a double-double with 13 rebounds, while Davie chipped in eight boards.
Smith had a monster game for Kane with 27 points and 14 rebounds including 24 points over the final three quarters and 18 in the second half.

Brookville will face top-seeded Karns City in the title game at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, at PennWest Clarion’s Tippin Gym. Karns City won at Brookville, 36-35, on Jan. 25.

“I wanted all my seniors to get into that atmosphere (at Tippin Gym) considering they haven’t gone in four years,” Whitling said. “Honestly, I am really excited. That is really what made us win the game.

Watch Whitling’s full postgame interview powered by Cole Orthodontic Associates.


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