Laurel rally falls short
Greensburg Central Catholic (50) Vs. Laurel (43)
Feb 19, 2014
By Corey J. Corbin
New Castle News

PITTSBURGH — The Laurel High girls basketball team could have packed it in after three quarters.

Instead, the Lady Spartans chose to ignore an 11-point deficit and keep fighting for their playoff lives.

Laurel ultimately made a game of its WPIAL Class AA first-round matchup with Greensburg Central Catholic before falling 50-43 last night at Fox Chapel High.

“When you get so close that you can taste it, it is hard to walk away with the loss, but we’re not hanging our heads,” Laurel coach Jessica Shevitz said. “That was a really good team that we played and they were beating teams by an average of 40 points. We had them running scared at the end of the game. If a couple of balls bounce a different way, maybe we come out with the win.

“It was an amazing effort. The seniors wanted to go out with a great game. We weren’t going to back down. We came to play. We played the best that we could play.”

The Lady Centurions (18-4) took their fifth 11-point lead of the game on a pair of Nicole Adisey free throws early in the fourth quarter.

It was nearly all Lady Spartans (13-10) from there.

Layups from Brooke Dicks and Ellen Shaffer sparked a 9-0 run as Laurel closed to within 39-37 with under three minutes to play.

A three-point play from Shaffer with 1:37 left pulled the Lady Spartans to within 41-40 and a Jessica Conrad 3-pointer knotted the score at 43 just 31 seconds later.

“We got a little undisciplined on defense and they settled down against it,” first-year Greensburg Central Catholic coach Joe Eisaman said. “They caught us. They made a nice little run. I think I changed defenses once too many times.”

Greensburg Central Catholic freshman Brittany Stawovy knocked down what proved to be the game-winning 3-pointer with just over 21 seconds left. Carolyn Appleby made a pair of free throws and reserve Haley Moore converted a layup to close the scoring.

“We sold out on Appleby,” Shevitz said of the Lady Centurions’ 5-foot-5 junior point guard, who finished with a game-high 19 points. “We absolutely did. I was expecting her to get the ball. I was surprised they took a 3-point shot. My hat’s off to her for putting the ball in the hoop.”

The teams traded leads for much of the first quarter before Greensburg Central Catholic closed the first quarter with an 8-0 run to take a five-point lead into the second period.

Laurel closed to within 22-19 on a Shaffer three-point play, but the Lady Centurions went on a 10-2 run to close the half with a 32-21 cushion.

“We were a little tight,” Shevitz said. “We had that deer in the headlights look to us. They’re just fast. We just didn’t get where we needed to be as fast as we needed to get there. A couple of times, we tried to slow them down at half-court instead of getting back into the paint.”

Greensburg Central Catholic struggled against Laurel’s zone, making just 37.5 percent of its field goal attempts (18 of 48).

“When you shoot horrendous like we did, you’re going to struggle against the zone,” Eisaman said. “To be honest with you, that zone gave us trouble. Some nights, you’re going to go out and kill it and others, you’ll struggle against it. That’s the zone.”

Laurel had its own offensive woes, sinking just 36.3 percent of its shots (16 of 44) and committing 25 turnovers.

Shaffer closed her junior year with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Conrad finished with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“I’m not surprised that they moved on and advanced to play us,” Eisaman said. “I’ll tell you this if they played somebody a little worse than us, they could have made some noise in the playoffs. I was very impressed with them.”

The Lady Spartans will lose seniors Baker, Conrad, Dicks and Erin LaFrance to graduation.

“Wow, where do I start,” Shevitz said. “We have such a bond. My first year as the head coach was their freshman year, so we’ve walked this road
together. I’m going to miss seeing their faces when I walk into the gym — all of them.

“Jessica Conrad was the heart and soul of this team. We tended to lean on her on the floor. Brooke and Rachael work so hard. Rachael tore her ACL her sophomore year and she battled back to earn her spot on the floor. Brooke ran the point. Erin LaFrance didn’t get in the game tonight, but she works so hard in practice. She has so much dedication and commitment. I can’t say enough about any of them. I wish them the best of luck. We’re going to miss seeing them next year.”

Nightly Roundup
Feb 19, 2014 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Greensburg Central Catholic 16 16 5 13 0 50
Laurel 11 10 7 15 0 43
Box Scores
Rachael Baker 2 0-0 4
Jessica Conrad 5 0-0 12
Brooke Dicks 3 1-4 7
Ellen Shaffer 6 6-8 18
Maddison Deinert 0 0-1 0
Kristin Dicks 0 2-2 2.
Totals: 16 9-15 43.

Lean Bisignani 4 2-4 10
Nicole Addisey 2 2-2 6
Brittany Stawovy 2 2-2 8
Carolyn Appleby 7 3-7 19
Megan Stunja 1 0-2 2
Abbey Marigliano 1 0-0 3
Sophie Czamecki 0 0-0 0
Haley Moore 1 0-0 2
Maddie Coddington 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 18 9-17 50.
LAUREL 11 10 7 15 — 43
GREENSBURG C.C. 16 16 5 13 — 50
3-point goals — Laurel 2 (Conrad 2), Greensburg Central Catholic 5 (Appleby 2, Stawovy 2, Marigliano 1).
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