Neshannock comes up short in bid for PIAA berth
Chartiers-Houston (48) Vs. Neshannock (45)
Feb 27, 2015
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News

CANONSBURG — The Neshannock High girls basketball team ran out of chances last night.

The Lady Lancers were bounced from the WPIAL Class AA bracket in the quarterfinals. They had two shots in the play-in bracket to secure a PIAA playoff berth and came up short each time.

Chartiers-Houston opened up an 18-point lead midway through the third quarter and held off a furious Neshannock rally to post a 48-45 decision in the losers bracket of the WPIAL Class AA play-in bracket.

“I didn’t think we played one of our better games against OLSH (on Tuesday in the first game of the consolation bracket),” Lady Lancers coach Luann Grybowski said. “We just couldn’t do anything that game. We didn’t play well offensively.

“Then we just got a little too far behind (last night).”

Neshannock’s season comes to an end at 19-6, including three consecutive defeats in the WPIAL playoffs.

The Lady Bucs (17-9) advance to the PIAA playoffs as the No. 7 seed out of the WPIAL and will take on the District 10 champion March 6 at a time and site to be determined.

Chartiers-Houston took a 31-13 lead with 4:14 to go in the third quarter and appeared to be in cruise control. But Madison McHale and her teammates weren’t going to go quietly.

McHale, a Lock Haven recruit, netted 19 of her game-high 20 points in the second half — 10 in the third quarter and nine more in the fourth. The Lady Lancers trimmed the deficit to 31-23 on a 3-pointer by McHale, who added three steals, with 1:20 to go in the third quarter.

“She did a great job,” Grybowski said of McHale. “I had to put the ball in her hands; Erin (Warvell) had three fouls.

“It’s a little bit different when they’re not playing a zone. It’s a little bit tougher for her to get shots. That zone was much better than what I saw on film.”

Neshannock trailed 36-27 after the third period.

“I just told them we’re right back in it,” Grybowski said of her message to the team after the third quarter. “I said let’s take it one possession at a time.

“We were going to stay in a halfcourt trap; we wanted to try to get deflections and steals.”

The Lady Lancers trimmed the deficit to 44-42 with 1:50 to go in the game on a bucket by McHale and then got a defensive stop on the other end.

“I think I held my breath for a minute-and-a-half there at the end,” Chartiers-Houston coach Laura Montecalvo said. “We should have never let it get to that point.”

Neshannock, which was trailing 44-42, had a chance to take its first lead since a 10-8 buffer late in the first quarter. But the Lady Lancers turned it over with 1:39 remaining.

The Lady Bucs, though, gave it right back on their next possession.

Neshannock had another opportunity to tie or take the lead. The Lady Lancers turned it right back over underneath the bucket with 40.4 ticks to go.

Jules Vulcano knocked down two foul shots with 27.7 seconds left to give Chartiers-Houston a 46-42 margin. Warvell nailed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds to go to cut the deficit to 46-45.

“It wasn’t a designed 3. It was designed for Maddie,” Grybowski said. “I knew we were screening the zone and Maddie was coming through. (Erin) had the smarts to shoot it and she knocked it down.”

The Lady Bucs were able to solve the Neshannock pressure on their next possession and Vulcano canned a critical field goal with six seconds to go, pushing the advantage to 48-45.

“We were up (defensively) and we gave up sideline,” Grybowski said. “That’s the first rule, we shouldn’t have gave up sideline.

“I thought we were going to have a good trap. I wanted a turnover first and then foul if we had to. But I didn’t want the release and a runout layup.”

Grybowski didn’t get anything she was looking for there as Vulcano tossed in that big field goal. Vulcano had 11 points, seven coming in the fourth. Those seven points all came in the final 4:06, two markers from the foul line and two field goals.

“Vulcano really stepped up big for them,” Grybowski said. “Those field goals were like daggers for them. But that’s our own fault. We didn’t get out on her.”

Neshannock, which still had one timeout left, elected to play it out after Vulcano’s basket. The Lady Lancers rushed the ball up the floor and got it to McHale, who had a look from behind the arc. But her shot was just off the mark and the Lady Bucs survived.

“Maybe I could have run Maddie off of a couple of screens,” Grybowski said if she had called a timeout. “But they still would have probably pressured Erin.”

Said Montecalvo of McHale’s game-tying attempt, “I did hold my breath there. I thought maybe it was just a little bit too far for her for that shot to go in.”

Neshannock led 8-4 with 4:09 remaining in the opening quarter before trailing 12-10 after the first eight minutes. Chartiers-Houston outscored the Lady Lancers, 14-2, in the second quarter to forge a 26-12 lead at the break.

“The ball movement was good,” Montecalvo said of her team’s second-quarter play. “We were really able to swing the ball around the key and kind of get their defense moving.”

The Lady Lancers struggled on the glass, getting outrebounded 32-20.Neshannock turned the ball over 20 times, compared to 22 for Chartiers-Houston. The Lady Lancers were 17 of 45 from the field.

Maeley McHale, Madison’s younger sister, chipped in seven points off the bench for the Lady Lancers and Regan Moorhouse was next with six.

Alexa Williamson paced the Lady Bucs with 14 points.

Neshannock loses four players to graduation — Marissa DeMatteo, Tayler Grybowski, McHale and Warvell.

“We had a great year,” Luann Grybowski said. “We have a great group of seniors. I’m going to miss them. They came to practice every day. They worked hard. They gave me four years of commitment and gave me their best every day and I’m going to really miss them.”

Nightly Roundup
Feb 27, 2015 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Chartiers-Houston 12 14 10 12 0 48
Neshannock 10 2 15 18 0 45
Box Scores
Madison Simpson 0 0-0 0
Jules Vulcano 4 2-2 11
Alexa Williamson 4 6-9 14
Jala Youngblood 6 0-0 12
Jalynn Myers 3 0-0 7
Megan Kraushaar 2 0-0 4
Jordan Simpson 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 19 8-11 48

Regan Moorhouse 3 0-0 6
Cassidy Burrelli 2 0-0 4
Madison McHale 6 5-6 20
Madison Jones 1 0-0 2
Hannah Haswell 0 0-0 0
Maeley McHale 3 1-2 7
Erin Warvell 1 0-0 3
Tayler Grybowski 1 0-0 3
Totals: 17 6-8 45

CHAR.-HOUSTON 12 14 10 12 — 48
NESHANNOCK 10 2 15 18 — 45

3-point goals — Chartiers-Houston 2 (Vulcano 1, Myers 1), Neshannock 5 (Warvell 1, Grybowski 1, Mad. McHale 3).
Home | Game Schedules | Archive Coverage | Player of the Week
Lets Talk Basketball | BasketBlog | Big Shots
Copyright ©
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.
Site Designed By: MotionLX, LLC