Defense carries Neshannock girls past Shenango
Neshannock (57) Vs. Shenango (42)
By Andrew Petyak
New Castle News

A strong second-half defensive effort carried the Neshannock High girls basketball team over visiting Section 2-AA rival Shenango, 57-42.

“We talked about defense before the game mainly because, on average, we’re giving up 52 points a game,” Lady Lancers coach Luann Grybowski said. “The name of the game is you have to stop the other team from scoring. We did that in the second half.”

Neshannock (2-2 section, 4-6 overall) did just the opposite in the first half, allowing 25 points to the Lady Wildcats, with 13 coming from Jenna Petrucci.

“We switched in the second half to a triangle-and-two defense to cover Petrucci and (Angelina) Sibeto,” Grybowski said. “We wanted to force someone else to do the job for them.”

Petrucci only recorded one shot attempt in the second half as Neshannock’s Tayler Grybowski, Stephanie Paras and Katie Burrelli were given the task of shutting down the dangerous Shenango guards. Petrucci led the Lady Wildcats with 14 points. Sibeto, Skylar Andrews and Ashleigh Presnar had seven each.

Shenango (0-3, 6-4) was without two important offensive players because of illness — Amanda Herb and Samantha Seaburn. Herb played the first half and registered no points before exiting the game.

“It was tough losing them for a section game,” Lady Wildcats coach Brian Turk said. “They are two of our most consistent scorers. Amanda tried to make a go of it. She was really looking forward to playing this game.”

With the loss, Shenango has yet to win a section contest this season, despite a 6-4 overall mark.

“Neshannock put a lot of pressure on our guards in the second half. That was the key to victory,” Turk said. “We did play well, just not well enough. We’ve struggled over the years in this section. It’s a tough one to win ballgames. in Hopefully, we can get on track.”

Madison McHale had a game-high 21 points for the Lady Lancers. Alexandra Fischer bucketed 18, including 10 of 15 from the free-throw line.

“I thought we controlled McHale in the first half,” Turk said. “In the second, she stepped it up. You can’t allow Fischer to get to the line 15 times.”

Neshannock snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory.

“I am proud of them. That was our second section victory and it was an important one,” Grybowski said. “It was a total team effort. McHale and Fischer provided the offensive punch, and Katie Burrelli, Tayler Grybowski and Stephanie Paras led us on defense.”
Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 11 17 13 16 0 57
Shenango 12 13 11 6 0 42
Box Scores
Angelina Sibeto 2 3-4 7
Skylar Andrews 2 3-4 7
Jenna Petrucci 5 2-6 14
Ashleigh Presnar 0 0-0 0
Victoria Weinschenk 3 1-1 7
Amanda Herb 0 0-0 0
Sarah Herb 2 0-0 4
Carolyn Peterson 1 0-0 3
Jenna DeLuca 0 0-0 0
Emma Rich 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 15 9-15 42.

Katie Burrelli 1 0-0 3
Cassidy Burrelli 1 0-0 2
Erin Warvell 2 0-0 4
Tayler Grybowski 2 0-0 5
Alexandra Fischer 4 10-15 18
Stephanie Paras 2 0-0 4
Madison McHale 8 4-4 21.
Totals: 20 14-19 57.

SHENANGO 12 13 11 6 — 42
NESHANNOCK 11 17 13 16 — 57
3-point goals — Shenango 3 (Petrucci 2, Peterson 1); Neshannock 3 (Grybowski 1, K. Burrelli 1, McHale 1).
JV score: Neshannock 27, Shenango 23. High scorer: N — Cassidy Burrelli, Marissa Kirkwood 9. S — Carolyn Peterson 11.
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