MOUNT CARMEL — On Monday, DaniRae Renno and the Red Tornadoes gave Shamokin girls basketball all it could handle in a 41-33 win.
Not only did Renno score 19 points and cling to any loose ball that came her way, but the sophomore blocked several shot opportunities the Indians had.
After being held to eight points in the first half, Renno was relentless in leading MCA from a seven-point deficit in the second half and defended well after being drawn away from the paint.
Mount Carmel head coach Lisa Varano thought her team dished the ball to Renno in the right moments in the final half even though Shamokin’s defense was a thorn in their side.
“We don’t want to force the ball into her. At times in the first half we did and it just wasn’t there. The girls were a lot more disciplined in the second half and Dani found a way to be open and they got it to her,” Varano said.
After outscoring the Indians 12-6 in the first period, Mount Carmel was limited offensively in the second as Lydia Deptula had 11 points and led Shamokin to a 15-2 run, making the halftime score, 21-14 MCA.
The Red Tornadoes came out strong once the second half began as they unleashed a downpour of buckets on their way to a 20-10 run in the first 11 minutes and 43 seconds of the half.
Renno deposited 13 points during the half as Mount Carmel never looked back.
“I think we were a lot more aggressive in the second half. We missed a lot of shots in the first half, kind of shot ourselves out of the game. The second quarter was devastating. I thought our girls responded very well,” Varano said about her team’s successful comeback in the second half.
Shamokin shot 26 percent (5-19) in the second half after hitting 43 percent(5-19) in the first half.
After trailing early the Indians marched to a 15-14 lead with three minutes left in the second quarter as Deptula connected on a layup from close range.
“We gave up a lot of points in the paint in the first half. We needed to keep girls in front of us and stop that penetration. They scored easy baskets. We were caught very out of position. I thought our girls really responded well and did a great job in the second half. That was the difference in the game,” Varano added.
Grace Nazih was off to a hot start for the Indians and logged nine points in the first half, but was contained by the Red Tornadoes’ defense in the second half and scored only once.