Neshannock Tops Laurel, 33-24
Neshannock (33) Vs. Laurel (24)
By JON GERAMITA
jgeramita@ncnewsonline.com

At least the Laurel High girls basketball team knows its plan worked.

Sort of.

The Lady Spartans focused on interior defense last night and held Kylee Patton, Neshannock’s leading scorer (17.1 ppg.), to six points.

That was the plan — to keep the score low and keep Patton from getting any good looks.

The problem?

Laurel struggled to score down the stretch and lost 33-24 to the Lady Lancers at home in a WPIAL Section 2-AA matchup.

In fact, Laurel (1-4 section, 5-6 overall), got as close as 24-20 on Kerri Hutchison’s putback with two minutes left in the third quarter but went 2 of 14 from the field the rest of the game.

“It takes all the wind out of your sails,” Lady Spartans coach Jennifer McGarrah said. “Defense was our focal point tonight and I couldn’t be prouder, but it was the shooting. We had 14 opportunities — layups — and nobody could put it in for us.”

It’s not like Neshannock (5-1, 8-4) made a drastic run to put away the game during that stretch, either.

After a Chelsea Kauffman hoop, and free throws by Patton and Erika Warvell made it 28-20 early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Lancers didn’t make another basket the rest of the game and turned it over five times.

Laurel missed two breakaway layups off steals in the fourth quarter. It missed all four of its foul shots for the game. Laurel committed 16 turnovers — nine in the deciding second half.

“We only did one thing well tonight,” said McGarrah, concerning her team’s defensive effort.

The Lady Lancers were led by Caitlyn Bleggi’s 11 points and 11 rebounds (six offensive). Warvell had eight points and seven rebounds, and Patton, despite getting bumped, pushed and double-teamed down low most of the game, had nine rebounds.

“Caitlyn has grown a lot since the beginning of the year,” Neshannock coach Greg Huston said. “She didn’t even want to play the post early in the year and she’s getting a lot of boards for us.

“(The officials) wouldn’t give Kylee anything, but what she does for us didn’t show in the box score.”

Patton was often the outlet on the Lady Lancers’ press-break plays and would even take the ball upcourt at times. She played well defensively, getting three steals.

Of course Huston is satisfied with the win, as his team holds a half-game lead over Riverside (4-1) atop the section standings. But, he knows that scoring 33 points on a nightly basis won’t get Neshannock very far in the future.

“We talked about how the offense is regressing. They lost a little confidence in their shots, but I believe in them,” Huston said. “We’ll get better.”

Lindsey Sauers and Kaity Anderson each had six points for the Lady Spartans. Sauers, Hutchison and Courtney Smith each had six rebounds.
Game Scoreboard
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Neshannock 6 10 10 7 0 33
Laurel 4 8 8 4 0 24
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
Neshannock
#11 Erika Warvell321180
#21 Chelsea Kauffman200040
#25 Caitlyn Bleggi4630110
#32 Kylee Patton164060
#44 Courtney Frengel122040
#22 Megan Black000000
#34 Robyn Dougherty000000
Laurel
#32 Lacee Cutchall200040
#14 Kerri Hutchison200040
#20 Lindsey Sauers300060
#24 Kasie Brown000000
#52 Courtney Smith140020
#12 Rachel Kwiatkowski100020
#42 Kaity Anderson300060
#33 Nicolette McCormick100020
#23 Rosie Spielvogel000000
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