Laurel girls spoil Shenango's bid for WPIAL playof
Shenango (65) Vs. Laurel (72)
The Shenango High girls basketball team had a chance to clinch a WPIAL playoff bid Monday night.

Laurel, however, had other plans.

The Lady Spartans battled back to erase an early deficit and secure a 72-65 victory over the host Lady Wildcats in a Section 1-AA contest.

Laurel (3-7 section, 7-11 overall) trailed by eight points after the first eight minutes of play, yet countered with three-straight quarters of outscoring Shenango.

"We talked about it after the first quarter," Laurel coach Jessica Shevitz said of the early deficit. "We came out and outscored them the next three quarters. These freshmen had to carry the weight and the experience paid off, they handled it well."

One of those freshmen in Caroline Gibson paced the Lady Spartans with a career-best 27 points, as well as eight assists. Junior Diana Pontius rattled home six 3-pointers en route to a 20-point game, including 14 in the third quarter.

"She just comes out and doesn't even have to think about it," Shevitz said of Pontius. "It was just one of those nights where she felt it.

"It was a great game. Shenango had five players in double digits. Hats off to them, it was a high-scoring game and they played hard. We just took care of things downs the stretch with young girls making good decisions."

For the Lady Wildcats (5-4, 9-8), a chance to earn a playoff berth was at least momentarily squandered, despite five players scoring in double-digits.

"I thought our effort just wasn't there," Shenango coach Jason Rankin said. "I give Laurel credit. they just out-toughed us. They weren't going to be denied, they were playing for pride and they played hard."

Samantha Seaburn led Shenango with 16 points, while Angelina Sibeto scored 12 and Carolyn Peterson, Jacqui Baker and Madison Harden each contributed 10.

Shenango now has three more chances to secure a win and a postseason berth. First up is a Thursday matchup at Beaver Falls, followed by a home game against Neshannock and an away contest at Mohawk next week to wrap up its section schedule.

"Beaver Falls is a tough game," Rankin said. "They now have life, we have three chances to get in and it's going to be tough. They have a tremendous home-court advantage. I'm sure they'll be chomping at the bit."
Game Scoreboard
Shenango 19 11 16 19 0 65
Laurel 11 16 22 23 0 72
Box Scores
Kristin Dicks 3 0-0 6
Makenna Collins 2 2-3 6
Marlee Bell 0 0-0 0
Diana Pontius 7 0-0 20
Janna Conrad 2 1-4 5
Caroline Gibson 11 5-8 27
Megan Reeher 3 2-4 8
Brianna Reeher 0 0-0 0
Totals: 28 10-19 72

Angelina Sibeto 5 2-3 12
Samantha Seaburn 5 6-6 16
Emma Rich 2 1-2 5
Carolyn Peterson 3 2-2 10
Jacqui Baker 4 2-4 10
Olivia Rich 0 0-0 0
Addie George 0 0-0 0
Chaslin Hoover 1 0-0 2
Madison Harden 4 2-3 10
Totals: 24 15-20 65

LAUREL 11 16 22 23 — 72
SHENANGO 19 11 16 19 — 65

3-point goals — Laurel 6 (Pontius 6), Shenango 2 (Peterson 2).
JV score: Shenango 43, Laurel 41. High scorers: S — Addie George 15, Chaslin Hoover 11; L — Caroline Gibson 18.
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