Lady ‘Cats’ win ‘like going to Disney’
Shenango (54) Vs. Charleroi (48)
Feb 15, 2014
By Shawn Fox
New Castle News

McKEES ROCKS — It’s probably a pretty safe bet.

It’s very likely, in fact, that most of the members of this year’s Shenango High girls basketball team don’t remember the program’s last appearance in the WPIAL playoffs.

But that same group won’t soon forget the most recent playoff victory.

Coach Brian Turk’s Lady Wildcats ended the program’s 17-year playoff drought last night in a big way by knocking off Charleroi, 54-48, in the first round of the Class AA playoffs at the Montour Athletic Center.

“It’s awesome,” Turk said. “For these kids it’s like going to Disney. Especially coming down here and playing in a facility like this, and beating a really good team that’s been to the playoffs nine years in a row with a bunch of seniors. This young group stepped up and played really well.”


Shenango, which started four sophomores and a junior, didn’t appear to be in awe of postseason play, as the Lady Wildcats (13-9) never trailed by more than three points in the contest and turned the ball over just 13 times compared to 18 for the Lady Cougars.

“We know we’re a young team and they’re basically all seniors, so we knew couldn’t let them get up on us,” sophomore point guard Angelina Sibeto said.

Both teams got off to a bit of a rocky start, as Charleroi, which started five seniors, took a 7-4 lead midway through the first quarter.

The Lady Wildcats reeled off eight straight points on baskets by Samantha Seaburn, Sibeto, Carolyn Peterson and Ashleigh Presnar to grab a 12-7 lead.

“The first period was a little edgy,” Turk said. “We made a couple of mistakes here and there and missed a couple of calls, which is natural. I’m proud of them. They showed a lot of poise as a young team.”

Shenango maintained the lead until the 4:17 mark of the second quarter, when Anjie Tilghman knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Lady Cougars an 18-17 edge.

As was the case all night, the Lady Wildcats responded with a pair of free throws from Jaqui Baker and a jumper by Peterson to retake the lead.

“Honestly, the kids executed everything I asked them to execute,” Turk said. “We worked really hard this week. With a young group like this, they wanted to be in the gym, and I wanted to cover everything A to Z. They executed and knew everything Charleroi did, and that was a big part of why we got to where we were today.”

Shenango’s 25-22 halftime lead fell by the wayside early in the third quarter, as Mia Woytovich scored five straight points to give her team a two-point edge. Woytovich led all scorers with 19 points, but managed just two field goals — both 3-pointers — in the second half as she was guarded by Presnar and Sibeto throughout the game.

“We knew No. 11 (Woytovich) was top five in scoring in double-A, averaging 20 a game, and we knew she was going to get her points,” Turk said. “We wanted to keep her under 20. For the most part those two rotated on her all night long. When one got tired, we rotated the other one in. Our goal was to stay between her and the hoop and force her to take tough shots. They did a great job on her.”

After the teams traded leads, the Lady Wildcats took a lead they would not relinquish on a buckets by Sibeto and Seaburn, and two free throws by Emma Rich.

Charleroi, which closed the season at 17-6, got to within three points, 38-35, with 4:46 remaining in the game, but would get no closer.

Shenango was led in the final stanza by Seaburn, who scored seven of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. She also had 10 rebounds.

“Sam gets stronger as the game goes on,” Turk said. “If she gets frustrated early, she’ll fight through it. She did a great job.”

The Lady Wildcats also got a boost at the foul line by Sibeto, who hit 5-of-5 free throws in the final quarter, to seal the victory. She finished with a team-high 15 points and added nine rebounds.

“I was just thinking swish, swish, swish,” Sibeto said with a laugh. “We’re all really excited about it. Knowing it had been that long, we really wanted to get a win.”

Shenango will face second-seeded Burrell on Tuesday at a time and site to be announced. The Lady Buccaneers are the only undefeated team in the girls tournament, sporting a 22-0 mark.

“We have to stick together as a team, keep the intensity up and know we can compete with anybody we play,” Seaburn said. “It feels amazing. We played as a team and came out did what we had to do.”

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Shenango 14 11 9 20 0 54
Charleroi 10 12 9 17 0 48
Box Scores
Carolyn Peterson 4 2-4 10
Angelina Sibeto 5 5-5 15
Samantha Seaburn 5 3-8 13
Ashleigh Presnar 3 1-2 7
Emma Rich 3 1-2 7
Jaqui Baker 0 2-2 2
Totals: 20 14-23 54

Anjie Tilghman 3 1-2 8
Mia Woytovich 5 7-8 19
Rachel Ritzer 2 5-6 9
Lynsey Wright 4 0-2 8
Carina Gottheld 2 0-0 4
Jordan Swarmer 0 0-0 0
Jennifer Tilghman 0 0-0 0
Adrianna Gottheld 0 0-0 0
Totals: 16 13-17 48

SHENANGO 14 11 9 20 — 54
CHARLEROI 10 12 9 17 — 48

3-point goals — Charleroi 3 (Woytovich 2, A. Tilghman).
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