Union girls ousted in playoff opener
Winchester Thurston (45) Vs. Union (36)
Feb 21, 2013
By Dan Irwin
New Castle News

CORAOPOLIS — On both sides, the heavy artillery roared early, then fell silent.

But Winchester Thurston had another weapon by the name of Ally Seigel, and she turned out to be the smoking gun last night when the Union High girls dropped a 45-36 decision to the Lady Bears in WPIAL Class A first-round playoff action at Cornell High School.

The Lady Scots’ senior twins Miranda and Marissa Heaney each popped a pair of 3-point field goals through the first two periods to help Union trail by only two, 20-18, at intermission. In the second half, though, Winchester Thurston chased them in a triangle and 2, and Miranda’s jumper with 5:12 left in the third stanza was the only field goal either would get the rest of the way.

Union’s defense, meanwhile, wreaked similar havoc with the Lady Bears’ top two offensive threats. Alexis Lonero and Brytney Humphries finished right about on target as far as their scoring averages go, with 13 and 11 points, respectively. However, Humphries managed just two free throws in the second half and Lonero, after draining a trey midway through the third period, did not score again until sinking two free throws with 1:10 left in the game.

“We were going to take our chances on letting their other players score,” Union coach Brian Fadden said. “In the second half, those players stepped up and made some shots. Give them credit.

“But I think we did a really nice job defending their two main players, we really shut them down well.”

However, while Lonero and Humphries were getting shut down, Seigel was on the verge of being sat down.

“I told her to step up and show up because we needed her to get big inside,” Winchester Thurston head coach Monica Williams said of her 5-foot-10 junior. “They didn’t have anybody else inside, so I said, ‘when you get the ball, go up strong.’

“Actually, what I told her is that if you don’t get out there and play harder, you’re sitting down. This is do or die. So she got out there and started playing.”

Seigel responded by scoring all 12 of her points in the second half, either from underneath the bucket or on free throws after being fouled when attempting to put back an offensive rebound. Indeed, The Lady Bears (12-8) were clinging to a 22-21 lead early in the third period before going on a 17-8 run that put them up 39-29 lead with 4:41 left in the game. Seigel, who had 12 rebounds on the night, accounted for 10 of those tallies.

Union (11-11) crawled back to within three points, 39-36, with 1:27 to go and had the opportunity to go for a tie when Lonero’s missed free throw two seconds later was rebounded by Allison Bertolino. The Lady Scots ended up turning the ball over, though, and Winchester Thurston went 4-of- 6 from the line the rest of the way along with a Lonero layup with 37 seconds remaining to ice the win and advance to the quarterfinals.

The Lady Scots shot just 24 percent (11 of 45) from the field, a factor that also helped seal their fate.

“We executed our offense very well, we just didn’t have the ball go in the hoop for us tonight,” Fadden noted. “We got the looks we wanted to get, but the shots didn’t fall for us.

“We executed our game plan about as well as we could have. We had six days to prepare for this team; we were ready to play this game. I don’t know how much they respected us, but I think we showed them that we’re a good team.”

Nightly Roundup
Feb 21, 2013 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Winchester Thurston 14 6 14 11 0 45
Union 8 10 9 9 0 36
Box Scores
UNION (36)
Miranda Heaney 3 6-8 14
Marissa Heaney 2 2-2 8
Allison Bertolino 1 0-0 2
Hannah Booth 1 1-3 3
Tyanna Harris 4 1-2 9
Tayshia Razo 0 0-2 0.
Totals: 11 10-17 36.

Alexis Lonero 4 3-5 13
Brytney Humphries 3 4-6 11
Shala Barney 4 1-4 9
Rachel Dubnar 0 0-0 0
Ally Seigel 4 4-4 12
Fay Blelloh 0 0-0 0
Sophie Burkholder 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 15 12-19 45.

UNION 8 10 9 9 — 36
W. THURSTON 14 6 14 11 — 45
3-point goals — Union 4 (Miranda Heaney 2, Marissa Heaney 2); Winchester Thurston 3 (Lonero 2, Humphries 1).
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