Marisa scores 29, Peters Township caps perfect season with 1st PIAA title

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Friday, March 22, 2019 | 7:35 PM


HERSHEY — Peters Township completed a perfect season with a 62-49 win over Garnet Valley in the PIAA Class 6A girls basketball finals Friday night at Giant Center.

The Indians (30-0) led wire-to-wire on the way to becoming the fourth WPIAL girls basketball team to finish a season undefeated, but put the game away with an 18-9 third quarter. That period included 11 points by Penn State-bound Makenna Marisa, who finished with 29 points.

“She’s incredible,” Peters Township coach Bert Kendall said. “When she penetrates and pulls up, she’s hard to stop.”

Already ahead 29-21 at halftime, Peters Township scored quickly to increase its lead early in the third quarter. The Jaguars (29-2) switched to a 2-3 zone defense out of the locker room, but a 3-point basket by Isabella Mills and a long jumper by Marisa made that strategy moot.

“We needed to come back out there strong in the third quarter,” Marisa said.

Marisa never seemed to stop scoring. A 3-point basket and a putback on back-to-back possessions put the Indians ahead 41-27, and gave her 20 points midway through the third quarter. The 5-foot-11 senior guard put her exclamation mark on the period with a coast-to-coast layup with 58 seconds left for a 47-28 lead.

“When I got a shot, I took it,” Marisa said. “My shots were falling, and Isabella’s shots were falling.”

Emily McAteer, a Loyola recruit, scored baskets at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth to get Garnet Valley within 47-32. But Marisa lost none of her touch in the fourth quarter, responding with a 3-point shot moments later for a 50-32 advantage. The Jaguars never pulled closer than 11 points after that.

The Indians opened the game with five baskets on their first six possessions, with four players getting on the scoreboard early.

“It’s the first game we faced a team that could match our height,” Kendall said. “We felt we were athletic and that we could look to run.”

Marisa and Journey Thompson both scored field goals to open up a 4-0 lead in the first minute. After Garnet Valley got on the board to make it 4-2, Mackenzie Lehman hit a layup, and Mills made a trey and a layup for a quick 11-2 advantage.

“To get that momentum going and make them feel like they had to come back was crucial,” Mills said.

Peters Township shot 8 for 12 in the first quarter to take a 20-11 lead.

Thompson added 16 points, and Mills contributed 14. In addition to leading the Indians in scoring, Marisa had seven rebounds and seven assists. Lehman led Peters Township with eight rebounds, helping the Indians to a 31-24 advantage on the boards.

Brianne Borcky, a Drexel recruit, led the Jaguars with 21 points. McAteer added 15 points, along with pulling in 10 rebounds.

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