Lady Lancers earn playoff spot with victory
Neshannock (53) Vs. Shenango (29)
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News

The Neshannock High girls basketball team missed the WPIAL playoffs a year ago.

The youthful Lady Lancers made sure that didn’t happen this time around.

Tayler Grybowski netted a game-high 18 points to lift visiting Neshannock to a 53-29 Section 2-AA victory over Shenango. The win propels the Lady Lancers (5-5 section, 8-9 overall) into the playoffs.

The Lady Lancers have just one senior and two juniors on the team. The other seven players are either sophomores or freshmen.

“This is big for us to make the playoffs,” said Neshannock coach Luann Grybowski, who doubles as Tayler’s mom. “We’re young and we’re improving.

“I’ve seen improvement this season. The kids are playing very well together and there’s good chemistry. They’re rooting for each other and they’re fun to coach; it’s a step in the right direction.”

Tayler Grybowski was 6 of 8 from the floor with five rebounds, four blocks and three steals.

“It was a good, all-around game from her,” Luann said. “All I look for is consistency and she was consistent. She played a really good floor game and that’s nice to see.”

The game was a Coaches vs. Cancer event. Tayler Grybowski, along with the Lady Wildcats’ Amanda Herb, were honored as each team’s Player of the Game. Herb netted five points.

Shenango (0-9, 6-11) scored the game’s first six points and held an 8-2 margin. But the Lady Lancers came alive defensively, rallying for a 14-11 lead after the opening period and maintained that intensity the rest of the way.

“We just picked up the defensive pressure,” Luann Grybowski said. “It was the best defensive effort and best team defense we played all year.

“I thought we did a great job defensively in the second half.”

Said Lady Wildcats coach Brian Turk, “Their defense put a lot of pressure on us out front. It forced us to take a lot of poor shots. We definitely got a lot of shots. Their whole team did a good job of denying the ball.”

Madison McHale came in leading the Lady Lancers in scoring at 16 points a game. Alexandra Fischer was next at 9.6. Shenango didn’t allow either girl to reach their average. McHale had nine points, seven assists and three steals. Fischer added four markers, nine blocks and five boards.

Katie Burrelli and Cassidy Burrelli tossed in seven points each for the winners.

“Somebody else stepped up for Neshannock,” Turk said. “That’s going to be big for them in the playoffs, getting production from a variety of players.

“I applaud my girls. We did an outstanding job with our game plan on Fischer and McHale.”

Jenna Petrucci recorded a team-high 10 points for Shenango.

Neshannock was 17 of 44 from the field, compared to 12 of 60 for the Lady Wildcats. The Lady Lancers were 14 of 15 at the foul line.
Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 14 12 7 20 0 53
Shenango 11 6 5 7 0 29
Box Scores
Katie Burrelli 3 0-0 7
Cassidy Burrelli 1 5-6 7
Erin Warvell 2 2-2 8
Tayler Grybowski 6 4-4 18
Alexandra Fischer 2 0-0 4
Stephanie Paras 0 0-0 0
Madison McHale 3 3-3 9.
Totals: 17 14-15 53.

Angelina Sibeto 2 0-2 4
Skylar Andrews 1 0-2 2
Samantha Seaburn 2 0-0 4
Jenna Petrucci 3 3-4 10
Victoria Weinschenk 2 0-0 4
Amanda Herb 2 1-2 5
Sarah Herb 0 0-0 0
Emma Rich 0 0-0 0
Elizabeth Dess 0 0-0 0
Ashleigh Presnar 0 0-0 0
Brittany Andrews 0 0-0 0
Jenna DeLuca 0 0-0 0
Carolyn Peterson 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 12 4-10 29.

NESHANNOCK 14 12 7 20 — 53
SHENANGO 11 6 5 7 — 29
3-point goals — Neshannock 5 (Grybowski 2, Warvell 2, K. Burrelli 1); Shenango 1 (Petrucci 1).
JV score: Neshannock 47, Shenango 43. High scorer: N — Maeley McHale 12, Cassidy Burrelli 10; S — Sarah Herb 11, Samantha Seaburn 10.

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