YATESVILLE — Hazleton Area held Mia Hopkins to five field goal attempts in three quarters and without a basket in the fourth quarter.
Hopkins needed just six seconds to show that overtime, however, would be different.
The Monmouth recruit scored eight of her game-high 24 points in the extra session to lead Pittston Area to a 58-54 victory in the battle between Wyoming Valley Conference Division I girls basketball contenders.
Mia's tough to handle, Hazleton Area coach Joe Gavio said.
The Cougars were reminded of that fact in the opening seconds of overtime.
Hopkins won the tap and broke for the basket. She took in a long pass from Liz Waleski and converted it for the first two of Pittston Area's 14 points in overtime.
The Patriots went on to shoot 5-for-6 in overtime. The only time they missed, Ali Brady got the rebound and scored to take the lead for good with 1:02 left.
We kept our cool, Pittston Area coach Kathy Healey said. We do a lot of work on situations in practice. The kids are confident.
They were also motivated by an earlier overtime game with Hazleton Area resulting in one of their two losses.
As soon we went to overtime, we said, ‘We're not losing like that again,' said Hopkins, who also led Pittston Area with 13 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
Hopkins, who was honored prior to the game for recently scoring her 1,500th career point, hit one of two free throws twice in the final 38 seconds to close the scoring.
Waleski successfully worked her way through foul trouble, then had no problem with her own foul shots.
After going to the bench in the first quarter with two fouls, Waleski picked up her third 17 seconds after returning to action in the second quarter. She played the rest of the way without picking up another and made eight straight free throws in the process to finish with 14 points.
As a sophomore, we try to talk her through it, Healey said. You can't do anything about what happened, only about what is going to happen.
Waleski, who was celebrating her 16th birthday, hit both free throws with 1:35 left to break the second of three overtime ties.
We kept our heads more in overtime and our defense was stronger, Waleski said of the difference between the two meetings with Hazleton Area.
She was not the only one to face foul trouble.
The Cougars played the last six minutes without top scorer Alyssa Sitch and top rebounder Lexi Wolk, then lost sub Juliet Courtney in overtime because of fouls.
Sitch had 16 points, hitting four straight three-pointers and helped Hazleton Area erase a 10-point second-half deficit. Mackenzie Yori had 11 points and four assists while Wolk and Brianna Woznicki grabbed 10 rebounds each.
Allie Barber had 11 points, including nine after halftime, before fouling out for Pittston Area (7-2 WVC, 15-2).
Hazleton Area fell to 5-4, 10-7.
HAZLETON AREA (54): Mackenzie Yori 4 0-0 11, Keana Schoennagle 1 2-2 5, Lexi Wolk 2 0-0 4, Angie Marchetti 1 0-0 3, Alyssa Sitch 5 2-4 16, Christie Kaschak 1 0-0 2, Brianna Woznicki 1 3-4 5, Juliet Courtney 3 0-0 8. Totals 18 7-10 54.
PITTSTON AREA (58): Allie Barber 5 1-2 11, Liz Waleski 2 9-10 14, Jackie Rabender 0 1-2 1, Mia Hopkins 7 10-16 24, Ali Brady 3 0-0 6, Eastin Ashby 1 0-3 2. Totals 18 21-33 58.
3-Point Field Goals— HAZ 11 (Yori 3, Schoennagle, Marchetti, Sitch 4, Courtney 2); PA 1 (Liz Waleski)