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2021 Basketball Playoffs

History-Makers: Lady Rovers Power Past C-L in 2A Semis, Advance to First D9 Title Game

Brockway's Danielle Wood. Photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa's work here

BROCKWAY, Pa. – The Brockway Lady Rovers were in the mood to make a little history on Wednesday. 

Danielle Wood scored 24 points, 18 of which came in the second half, as the second-seeded Rovers beat No. 3 Clarion-Limestone in the D9 Class 2A semifinals, 57-44 to advance to their first D9 title game in program history. 

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It was a moment 49 years in the making. 

“They’re really, really happy,” Brockway coach Dick Esposito said of his team. “I got a little choked up talking to them afterward.”

The two teams went back-and-forth for much of the first half, but a quick run by Brockway (11-6) turned a 2-point game into a 28-20 halftime score. 

Nikki Baker had the hot-hand early for Brockway, scoring all eight of her points in the first half. 

The second-quarter surge continued into the third, as the Rovers extended their lead to 42-25 after a 3 from Ciara Morelli and a coast-to-coast layup from Wood, prompting a C-L (7-12) timeout. 

Wood talked about the win afterward:

Selena Buttery also scored six points during the run. 

“I think what it was is they got a little tired,” Esposito said. “They were getting in a little bit of foul trouble. We were as well, but not quite as bad, and we were making some great shots, looking for people underneath, making it, or getting to the foul line. It was just everyone meshing together as a team.

“We thought, we can make a big run on them, let’s try and bury them.”

The Lady Lions weren’t able to get the lead below single digits the rest of the way, but they kept battling. 

Frances Milliron was terrific for the Lions, scoring 23 points, 14 of which came in the second half. 

Wood lived at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, going 9-of-13 over the final eight minutes and 10-of-14 for the game. 

Buttery finished with 14 points and Morelli nine for the Rovers. 

Janelle Pezzuti added five points for C-L, which had a total of eight players make their way into the scoring column.

Now that they’ve got to the D9 title game for the first time, they’ll take aim at that elusive championship crown when they battle No. 1 Keystone, a 49-11 winner over Kane in the other semifinal. 

“They’re a good team,” Esposito said. “They’re a well-oiled machine. I think it’s going to be a great championship game.”

CLARION-LIMESTONE (44)

Anna Kennemuth 0-0-4-0, Sydney Simpson 1-0-1-3, Maddy Wenner 0-1-2-1, Frances Milliron 9-5-7-23, Kendall Dunn 2-0-0-4, Janelle Pezzuti 2-0-0-5, Alyssa Wiant 0-3-4-3, Lexi Coull 1-0-1-2, Alex Leadbetter 0-3-4-3, Grace Shick 0-0-0-0, Totals 15-12-22-44

BROCKWAY (57)

Sarah Rosman 0-0-0-0, Madelyn Schmader 1-0-0-2, Ciara Morelli 3-1-2-9, Danielle Wood 6-10-14-24, Selena Buttery 5-3-6-14, Nikki Baker 4-0-0-8, Totals 19-14-22-57

By Quarters

Clarion-Limestone   13     7     8     16 – 44

Brockway                  13   15   14     15 – 57

Three-point FGs: Clarion-Limestone (2) – Simpson, Pezzuti; Brockway (5) – Morelli 2, Wood 2, Buttery 

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