YATES CENTER — The Erie Lady Red Devils jumped out to a seven point third-quarter lead and never let Pleasanton any closer Thursday night as Erie rolled into tonight’s sub-state championship game on with a 45-35 win.
Molly LaForge and Maddie Kramer paced the Lady Red Devils (15-7), scoring 15 and 13 points, respectively.
The game was marred by foul trouble on both sides, as it was hard for either team to get any continuity going offensively. The teams combined to shoot 64 free throws on the night, with Pleasanton receiving a sizeable advantage in trips to the stripe.
Luckily for Erie, Pleasanton only converted 22 of 41 attempts. Erie hit 15 of 23 on the night.
Kramer, known for her aggressive play on the inside, was forced to go to the bench early in the first quarter and picked up her third foul late in the second quarter. But Erie’s defense stayed focused and never let Pleasanton get into a rhythm. Just a night after giving up nine 3-pointers to Northeast-Arma, the Lady Devils only gave up one on Thursday.
Skylar Clevenger played a crucial role for EHS down the stretch, hitting four of five free throws late in the contest. A put-back basket by Kramer and a shot by sophomore Hailey McGowen seemed to suck all the air out of any comeback attempt the Lady Blu-Jays had in them.
Clevenger finished the contest with nine points, while Abigail VanLeeuwen finished with six points. VanLeeuwen missed some of the contest after injuring her leg after falling awkwardly, but she returned to finish out the game.
The Lady Blu-Jays finished the season with a record of 14-8.
St. Mary’s Colgan (13-9) advanced to the championship game with a decisive 61-46 win over the tournament’s No. 1-seeded Uniontown (16-5).
The championship game will take place at 6 pm tonight at Yates Center.