Washington bounces Shenango in opening round
Washington (46) Vs. Shenango (39)
By Joe Sager
New Castle News

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP — Every team experiences an off shooting night.

Normally, it’s no big deal.

When it happens in the playoffs, though, it usually spells doom.

That was the case for the Shenango High girls basketball team in last night’s WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round battle against Washington at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. The Lady Wildcats had plenty of opportunities, but struggled to convert in the 46-39 defeat.

“I thought we had two really good practices coming into this game. I thought we were going to shoot the ball well and, if we got up early, we’d be in pretty good shape,” Shenango coach Brian Turk said. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t have shots fall when we needed them to fall.”

Shenango (12-10) was within striking distance for most of the game, but was unable to find the bottom of the net on a consistent basis.

“It wasn’t like we turned the ball over or struggled with their zone. We knew we were going to be patient with their zone and take selective looks. We just couldn’t put it in the hole for some reason,” Turk said.

“It just wasn’t our game. Hat’s off to Washington; they played very well.”

The Lady ’Cats’ struggles were apparent especially in the fourth quarter. After they trimmed the deficit to 39-35 with 3:53 to go, Angelina Sibeto’s two buckets were all they could convert the rest of the way. Shenango had three misses after Sibeto’s second hoop made it a 43-39 game with 46.5 seconds left.

“We needed some shots down the stretch and I thought we did some things right on the traps and we got them on the foul line the last three times and they missed them,” Turk said. “We came down and didn’t get an opportunity to get to the line or make an outside shot. We just didn’t shoot the ball well.”

In the first quarter, the Lady ’Cats’ offense showed some positive signs as the squad took a 6-5 lead. However, the team was blanked for the final 2:59 and Washington (14-9) regained the advantage for good.

A 7-0 run in the second quarter boosted the Lady Prexies’ lead to 22-11, but Shenango trimmed the deficit to 25-17 at halftime.

Washington’s lead ballooned to 34-22 with 5:29 to go in the third. The Lady Prexies seemed intent on blowing open the game, but the Lady ’Cats embarked on a comeback. With outside threat Carolyn Peterson on the bench with four fouls, Shenango attacked the paint. It worked as Samantha Seaburn swished a pair of freebies and Jacqui Baker and Sibeto had baskets. Baker’s free throw capped the 7-0 run and brought the Lady ’Cats within five, 34-29, with 2:58 remaining in the third. Washington responded to close the third with a 36-29 advantage.

Seaburn’s bucket trimmed the deficit to 39-35 with 3:53 to go. However, Taylor Ellis swished her fourth 3-pointer with 3:38 remaining.

“All season, it’s been a different person stepping up. Taylor Ellis drops that 3-pointer in and it puts some pressure on them. They had to come out scrambling a bit and starting to foul us,” Washington coach Mike Maltony said. “I know the type of team we are. Once we get a little rattled, there go the turnovers; we’re throwing the ball away and we’re taking dumb shots; we’re not protecting the ball like we should. We got away from what we did earlier in the first quarter.”

The Ellis trey, her fourth of the night, was too much for Shenango to overcome.

“We gave up some shots that we didn’t expect to give up against that team when we saw them on film. They did fall for them, especially for
(Ellis),” Turk said. “It definitely takes a lot out of any team when you have to play catchup, especially when you have a couple of starters in foul trouble. We had to pick up the tempo a little more because we were chasing them a little bit. It takes some wind out of your sail. Washington did what they had to do to win the game and made shots when they needed to.”

The Lady ’Cats graduate starter Ashleigh Presnar and Brittany Andrews.
They return all of their scoring from the game in Seaburn (14 points),
Sibeto (10), Baker (9) and Peterson (6).

“We graduate two seniors and return six lettermen, so we are pretty happy about that, not that we’re looking forward to next year already,” Turk said. “This one is going to hurt for a little while because we came in expecting to win just like any other team does.”

Tajah Gordon and Ellis both finished with 12 for Washington, which meets Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (18-3) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in a first-round battle at Chartiers Valley.

(Email: ncsports@ncnewsonline.com)
Game Scoreboard
Washington 10 15 11 10 0 46
Shenango 6 11 12 10 0 39
Box Scores
Carolyn Peterson 2 0-0 6
Angelina Sibeto 5 0-1 10
Samantha Seaburn3 8-9 14
Ashleigh Presnar 0 0-0 0
Emma Rich 0 0-0 0
Jacqui Baker 4 1-2 9
Totals: 14 9-12 39

Taylor Ellis 4 0-3 12
Mikala Maltony 3 4-6 10
Emmalea Beck 2 0-0 4
Tajah Gordon 5 2-4 12
Nichole Hoffman 2 2-4 8
Haley Hamilton 0 0-0 0
Da’Shea Sweeney 0 0-0 0
Totals: 16 8-17 46

SHENANGO 6 11 12 10 — 39
WASHINGTON 10 15 11 10 — 46

3-point goals — Shenango 2 (Peterson 2), Washington 6 (Ellis 4, Hoffman 2).
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