by Jake DeLuca
Basketball season is finally hear in Armstrong County and on Friday and Saturday the River Hawks hosted their second annual Tip-Off Tournament with boys and girls teams from West Shamokin, Butler, Deer Lakes, and Knoch in attendance.
On the first day of the tournament West Shamokin and Butler’s girls varsity teams started the action – the Wolves won 39-31 earning them a spot in the championship game thanks to 22 points and 10 rebounds from junior Olivia Fusaro.
After that the Armstrong girls took on Deer Lakes taking care of business with a 39-29 win. Two River Hawks scored double digits against Deer Lakes – Kenzie Lasher had 13 points & 12 rebounds while Taylor Wood scored 13 points.
In the last game of day one the River Hawks boys took on West Shamokin for the right to play Knoch in the championship. The River Hawks were able to hold off a late push by the Wolves to earn a 50-44 victory. Armstrong’s Nate Baillie lead all scorers with 17 points and added 11 rebounds to his stat sheet.
Day two started with the consolation games, the Butler girls defeated Deer Lakes 58-30 to take third place, while the West Shamokin Wolves boys lost to Deer Lakes 70-44.
The Armstrong and West Shamokin girls then kicked off the championship games with one to remember. In a game that was close throughout with West Shamokin leading the majority of the game it was a Taylor Wood 3-pointer that gave the River Hawks momentum and the lead in the final minutes of the fourth. The River Hawks girls won 27-26 to start out 2-0 early in the season.
The Armstrong boys however would run into a very good Knoch team in the Championship and though the River Hawks lost 49-39 Head Coach Greg Hutcherson thought his team competed well. Dawson Porter lead the way for Armstrong with 15 points against Knoch.
The Armstrong boys will try for another win tonight at home against Valley, while the River Hawks girls travel to Allderdice to try and start the season 3-0. As for West Shamokin, tonight the boys will travel to face a tough Ligonier Valley team while the girls host Leechburg.
For more scheduling information you can visit riverhawksathletics.org for Armstrong times and dates and HeritageConference.org for West Shamokin.