By TY R. STATES
Tussey Mountain opened the District 5-A playoffs at home Wednesday with two goals in mind. One — win the game. Two — get Sophie Brumbaugh to 1,000 points for her career.
The Titans accomplished both objectives, beating Johnstown Christian 71-15 with Brumbaugh scoring 31 points to reach the milestone.
These teams played in the D5 quarterfinals a year ago with Tussey Mountain winning 65-21. The Blue Jays (5-13) turned the ball over 24 times in the loss.
“It was good to cruise to a win,” said Tussey Mountain head coach Todd Gates. “I thought we played well. We found open people inside with Sophie and Kailee Leonard.”
Brumbaugh entered the night needing 29 points to reach 1,000 for her career. She scored 18 in the first half. The Titans (18-5) kept feeding her the ball and a traditional three-point play gave her the mark.
“I was very nervous. I wasn’t sure if that foul shot was going in,” commented Brumbaugh. “I knew my team was trying to get it in to me as much as they could.
“It’s been my dream since elementary school. I really wanted it to happen and at first I didn’t think I could get it but then it started getting closer. I want to thank Todd, my family, my teammates for supporting me.”
Gates explained, “Coming in I thought 29 was a stretch. I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to do it or not. Our main focus was to win the game. Once things started rolling along we decided to get Sophie to 29.”
The Titans started off a little slow with some turnovers and missed shots. The Blue Jays would prove to be no obstacle though and Tussey Mountain soon got things going.
Brumbaugh and Leonard each had eight points in the first quarter. Meghan Molosky hit a three and scored the other five points as the Titans led 21-4 after one.
Brumbaugh put in 10 points in the second quarter as the Blue Jays had no one that could guard her inside. Brumbaugh scored the last eight points of the half as Tussey led 42-6 at the break.
In the third Brumbaugh scored eight of the first 10 points for the Titans. That left her three points away from the number to reach. Brumbaugh made a steal need mid-court and took the ball to the basket for the layup and the foul. Her free throw bounced once and dropped in for her 1,000th point.
At the end of three the score was 58-8.
In the fourth quarter Tussey Mountain got points off the bench from Karli Lucko, Paiton Black, and Abbie Weaver.
Molosky finished with 13 points, Leonard 10, and Lexi Weimert had eight.
Tussey Mountain will meet Shade in the semifinals Tuesday at a site to be determined.