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MCA on top of HAC-III

Red Tornadoes pull away from Defenders, win critical conference matchup 48-33

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Nicole Varano drives the ball against Warrior Run’s Sidney Hoffman in the third quarter Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Nicole Varano drives the ball against Warrior Run’s Sidney Hoffman in the third quarter Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

MOUNT CARMEL — Mount Carmel spent most of the first three quarters against Warrior Run Wednesday playing the Defenders’ style, and depending mostly on Nicole Varano and outside shooter Hannah Nolter for offense.

That changed late in the third quarter and, combined with foul trouble for Warrior Run’s 6-1 center Megan Zimmerman, gave the Red Tornadoes command as they pulled away for a 48-33 Heartland Athletic Conference Division III girls basketball game.

“We had a lot of contributions and I think we started to play a little more of our game in the second half,” said Mount Carmel head coach

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Myia Miriello wrestles for a loose ball against Warrior Run’s Taylor Coup and Avery Bieber in the first quarter Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Myia Miriello wrestles for a loose ball against Warrior Run’s Taylor Coup and Avery Bieber in the first quarter Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

Lisa Varano, whose team improved to 11-1 overall and 4-0 in the HAC Division III. “Bailey (Little) started taking the ball to the hole hard and Myia (Miriello) got involved a little more. In the first half we were kind of standing around and letting them play their game.”

The Defenders’ game is patience and working the ball into Zimmerman and forward Avery Bieber. Zimmerman had 10 points and seven rebounds in the half, hitting all five shots she took, and the Defenders (8-2, 4-2) had an 18-17 halftime lead. 

Varano and Nolter kept the Red Tornadoes close while waiting

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Nicole Varano drives the ball against Warrior Run’s Hayden Divers in the first quarter Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Nicole Varano drives the ball against Warrior Run’s Hayden Divers in the first quarter Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

for their teammates to pick up the pace, Varano with her inside game and Nolter hitting outside shots.

Varano had her usual fine all-around game, with 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists and eight steals, and Nolter scored 14 points, hitting 5 of 8 shots including 4 of 7 threes. With Zimmerman on the bench and the Tornadoes running more, Little (11 points) and Miriello (six), got rolling.

Mount Carmel took a 30-26 lead after three quarters then opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run to take control.

“They had about a three-minute run where they started to play more

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Emilee Wasilewski shoots while defended by Warrior Run’s Megan Zimmerman in the third quarter Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Emilee Wasilewski shoots while defended by Warrior Run’s Megan Zimmerman in the third quarter Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

their kind of basketball,” Warrior Run head coach Jason McCormick said. “We tried to pick up the pace but started making mistakes, and they hit some shots, too. And Varano just gets her hands in everything.” 

Zimmerman probably spent the better part of a full quarter on the bench between rests and foul trouble but still finished with 17 points (7 of 10 from the floor), 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Bieber added 10 points and had five steals.

“I think Emily Wasilewski, Myia and Nicole all  a good job defensively against Zimmerman,” Coach Varano said. “She’s a tough player.”

WARRIOR

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Hannah Nolter hits a 3-pointer over a Warrior Run defender Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

LARRY DEKLINSKI/STAFF PHOTO Mount Carmel’s Hannah Nolter hits a 3-pointer over a Warrior Run defender Wednesday at Mount Carmel.

RUN (33): Hoffman 0-1 2-2 2, Coup 2-6 0-0 4, Watkins 0-0 0-2 0, Divers 0-5 0-0 0, Hartman 0-1 0-0 0, Bieber 5-10 0-1 10, Zimmerman 7-10 3-4 17. Totals 14-33 5-9 33.

MOUNT CARMEL (48): Varano 5-11 5-7 16, Little 4-10 3-3 11, Wasilewski 0-2 0-0 0, Miriello 3-3 0-0 6, Nolter 5-8 0-0 14, Ayres 0-0 1-2 1, Shedleski 0-6 0-0 0. Totals 17-40 9-12 48.

Warrior Run (8-2) — 12 6 8 7 — 33

Mount Carmel (11-1) — 11 6 13 18 — 48

3-point shooting: Warrior Run (0-4) — Hoffman 0-1, Divers 0-3; Mount Carmel (5-14) — Varano 1-1, Little 0-1, Nolter 4-7, Shedleski 0-5.