Lady Lancers top Laurel, looking for more
Neshannock (57) Vs. Laurel (48)
The Neshannock High girls basketball team finished the regular season in style last night.

Now it’s on to the WPIAL Class AA playoffs.

The Lady Lancers wrapped up an impressive regular season with a 57-48 Section 2-AA win over visiting Laurel.

Neshannock, which had already locked up the section crown outright, finished the section with an 11-1 record in section play and 21-1 overall.

“I think that’s the best record at Neshannock in a long time if not ever,” Neshannock coach Luann Grybowski said. “I don’t think they’ve ever went undefeated. This is a great feat. We set some goals coming into the season. We wanted to make the playoffs and win the section championship. We were hoping to go undefeated in the section and in the regular season. We faltered along the way and lost a game.

“A lot of teams wish they were 21-1, so we’ll take it. Realistically, looking at our schedule, I saw us losing maybe five games, so we definitely overachieved this year.”

The Lady Spartans (7-5, 12-9) already have locked up a postseason berth and tonight’s Shenango-Mohawk game will determine whether the Lady Spartans finish in a third-place tie with the Lady Wildcats (7-4, 12-8) or finish alone in fourth place.

A Shenango win would forge a second-place tie with Mohawk (8-3, 14-5).

Laurel held a decided advantage at the free-throw line.

The Lady Spartans attempted 28 shots from the charity stripe, making 17 to Neshannock’s 8-of-8 ledger from the line.

“I’m upset with the disparity in foul shots,” Grybowski said. “They were being way more aggressive than we were. In the first half, they had 10 (attempts) and we had zero. In the second half, they had 18 and we had eight, but six were in the last minute when they had to foul.”

Neshannock opened the game by doubling up Laurel 16-8 in the first quarter and extended its lead to 32-20 at the half. The Lady Lancers pushed their lead to as many as 20 in the second half before turnovers took their toll, allowing Laurel back into the game.

“We started off really well, but we kind of went in the tank,” Grybowski said. “We didn’t play well at all in the second half, but we got out with the win, so it is what it is.

“We had 20 turnovers and that’s way too many at this point in the year. We just weren’t doing what we needed to do. We weren’t making good decisions in transition. We should’ve had several layups, but we didn’t make the right decision.”

Madison McHale paced Neshannock with 19 points and five assists, while Cassidy Burrelli finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Tayler Grybowski collected eight points, eight rebounds and six steals and Erin Warvell tacked on seven points and eight assists.

Laurel had three players reach double figures with Ellen Shaffer leading the way with 12 points. Rachael Baker and Jessica Conrad each tossed in 11.

Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 16 16 15 10 0 57
Laurel 8 12 16 12 0 48
Box Scores
Rachael Baker 3 4-6 11
Jessica Conrad 3 5-8 11
Brooke Dicks 1 0-2 2
Ellen Shaffer 4 4-5 12
Maddison Deinert 0 1-2 1
Kristin Dicks 3 3-4 9
Aleyce Bell 0 0-0 0
Nicole Wade 1 0-1 2.
Totals: 15 17-28 48.

Stephanie Paras 3 3-3 9
Cassidy Burrelli 6 0-0 12
Erin Warvell 2 2-2 7
Tayler Grybowski 3 0-0 8
Madison McHale 7 3-3 19
Regan Moorhouse 1 0-0 2
Jackie Herr 0 0-0 0
Maeley McHale 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 22 8-8 57.
LAUREL 8 12 16 12 — 48
NESHANNOCK 16 16 15 10 — 57
3-point goals — Laurel 1 (Baker 1), Neshannock 5 (Grybowski 2, McHale 2, Warvell 1).
JV score: Neshannock 43, Laurel 23. High scorer: N — Stephanie Paras 14; L — Diana Pontius 11.
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