Shenango clicks on all cylinders
Shenango (69) Vs. Beth-Center (30)
Feb 12, 2016
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

PITTSBURGH — The Shenango High girls basketball team was nervous heading into Friday's WPIAL Class AA playoff preliminary contest.

The early exit the Lady Wildcats experienced last year stuck in the back of their heads as they met Beth-Center at Baldwin High School.

Once the ball tipped, however, all of those nerves were wiped away.

Shenango scored the game's first 16 points and never looked back in a 69-30 victory over the Lady Bulldogs that was out of reach well before the halftime buzzer.

“The thing about us is, we were a little nervous and a little worried because we have four seniors that lost in the preliminary round last year that really want to continue on," Shenango coach Jason Rankin said. "They were a little uptight so it was good for us to get out and get a couple easy baskets early. I think we had 10 points before they got a shot off, so that built our confidence and we realized that we can do what we want.”

With the win, Shenango will play second-seeded Burrell at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at North Catholic High School.

Angelina Sibeto led the Lady Wildcats (14-9) with 15 points. Carolyn Peterson poured in 11 with a game-high three 3-pointers, while Samantha Seaburn contributed 10 points.

Sibeto also accumulated seven assists, putting her season total at 132. That mark gives her the Shenango girls record for most assists in a single season.

"I wouldn’t have done it if my teammates didn’t make their layups and their shots," Sibeto said.

The Lady Wildcats dominated from the opening tip, scoring the contest's first 16 points and taking a 21-5 advantage after the first eight minutes.

A 16-2 run during the second quarter simply solidified what was already a stranglehold on the lead as Shenango quadrupled the Lady Bulldogs' first-half total with a 44-11 lead at the break.

It took Beth-Center (8-11) until the 1:51 mark of the first quarter to get its first point off of a Frankie Pryor free throw and until the 1:32 mark in the same quarter to get its first successful field goal, a layup from Mary Gustovich.

“I felt confident we would win, but you never know in playoff games," Rankin said. "You definitely have the play the game and it’s tough because this district is so big geographically that you can’t see a lot of teams. Trusting film alone sometimes can lead you down the wrong path. So I was cautiously optimistic, I certainly didn’t think we would have a 39-point win.”

Shenango built its staggering lead with an uptempo pace that frustrated the Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Wildcats continuously found themselves in 2-on-1 and 3-on-1 situations, leading to easy transition points.

“We run. We practice and play that way and I think it got them out of sorts," Rankin said. "You have to keep going back and forth and it’ll wear at you really quick. We rebounded well early, got the ball to Ang who did a tremendous job. She got into the lane so well and once they collapsed, we shot the ball well from three.

"It was all on today.”

Shenango was just as successful on the defensive end. The Lady Wildcats held Kinlee Whited, who was the third-leading scorer in the WPIAL Class AA going into the playoffs at 19.2 points, to just five first-half points. The sophomore finished with 18 points, eight coming from the free throw line.

“That’s big against anyone that can control the game with their scoring," Rankin said. "Our help was great and Carolyn defended on the ball well in the first half. It shot their confidence down. Our help defense was really good and it showed after she scored most of her points in the second half.”

The victory gives the Lady Wildcats their second postseason win in three years and comes a season after falling to Washington 46-39 in last year's preliminary round.

“We wanted to get back from last year," Sibeto said. "We knew how hard that felt and we didn’t want to feel the same way after this game.”

Nightly Roundup
Feb 12, 2016 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Shenango 21 23 11 14 0 69
Beth-Center 5 6 7 12 0 30
Box Scores
Kinlee Whited 5 8-11 18
Mary Gustovich 3 0-2 7
Kennedy Kuhns 0 0-0 0
Frankie Pryor 0 4-9 4
Lilley Beadling 0 1-2 1
Morgan Darney 0 0-0 0
Caileigh Bolin 0 0-0 0
Kaitlyn Muncie 0 0-0 0
Totals: 8 13-24 30

Angelina Sibeto 6 0-0 15
Samantha Seaburn 4 2-4 10
Emma Rich 2 1-1 6
Carolyn Peterson 4 0-0 11
Jacqui Baker 3 1-3 7
Olivia Rich 1 0-0 2
Addie George 0 0-0 0
Jill Hellman 0 0-0 0
Madison Harden 3 2-2 8
Chaslin Hoover 1 1-2 4
Allison Schotsch 2 0-0 6
Totals: 27 7-12 69

BETH-CENTER 5 6 7 12 — 30
SHENANGO 21 23 11 14 — 69

3-point goals — Beth-Center 1 (Gustovich 1), Shenango 8 (Peterson 3, Schotsch 2, Hoover 1, Sibeto 1, E. Rich 1).
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