Lady Lancers top Lady Spartans in key contest
Neshannock (63) Vs. Laurel (30)
The scenarios were simple for the Laurel High girls basketball team on Thursday night.
The Lady Spartans needed a win or a Beaver Falls loss to Ellwood City Lincoln in order to make the playoffs.
The Lady Tigers' win at Ellwood made it even simpler, win and you're in, lose and you're out.
All that stood in Laurel's way was Neshannock — the WPIAL Section 1-3A champion.
The Lady Lancers came into the contest perfect in section play and would remain that way, topping the Lady Spartans 63-30 to complete an undefeated season in section play and knock the visitors out of the playoffs.
"It was a strong game defensively," Neshannock coach Luann Grybowski said of her team's performance. "We had a little too many turnovers, but we passed well and defended well."
The Lady Lancers (12-0 section, 20-1 overall), jumped out to a 32-11 lead over the Lady Spartans (5-7, 10-12) at the half and never looked back.
Ally George came off the bench to pace Neshannock with 18 points, followed by Aidan Noga who posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists.
"Our bench unit of (Ally) George, (Ally) Zarilla and (Brie) Dean each bring something different to the table," Grybowski said. "It just depends what we need and who steps up."
Caroline Gibson scored 15 points to lead the way for the Lady Spartans, who cut the lead to just 15 in the fourth quarter but were unable to pull closer.
"We fought hard all the way until the end, we didn't give up," Laurel coach Matt Stebbins said. "We've battled all season through some adversity and through some injuries, but we gave ourselves a chance up until the end. I'm very proud of our girls."
Neshannock now rolls on into the WPIAL playoffs. The pairings will be announced Tuesday.
"Neshannock is a disciplined team," Stebbins said. "(Coach Grybowski) has built a great program, that's hopefully what we can do going forward."