Pressure proves to be too much for Lady Lancers
Neshannock (29) Vs. Bishop McCort (55)
Mar 04, 2016
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

JOHNSTOWN — Pressure begins to mount when a team enters the PIAA playoffs.

Any off night or any misstep in the face of adversity usually spells the end of a team's season if it succumbs to that pressure.

The Neshannock High girls basketball team couldn't sidestep the pressure of the state playoffs or the Bishop McCort defense as the Lady Lancers fell 55-29 in the first round of the PIAA Class AA postseason Friday night.

“It was a combination of a few things. We didn’t get good shots, we turned it over and didn’t box out," Neshannock coach Luann Grybowski said. "They were good, Thomas and Instone were good. Their guards were quicker than what I saw on film, but it obviously wasn’t one of our best outings and you don’t want that to happen in the last game.

Stephanie Paras paced the Lady Lancers with eight points in her final game at Neshannock.

Bishop McCort's tandem of Haley Thomas and Morgan Instone did most of the damage. Thomas finished with a game-high 22 points, while Instone followed with 14.

The pressure began right from the opening tip. After trading leads, Bishop McCort went on an 11-0 run to end the first quarter with a 12-point advantage.

The Lady Crushers (26-1) relied heavily on full-court pressure defenses that led to turnovers, steals and easy transition points.

“That was the game plan," Bishop McCort coach John Hahn said. "In the films that we had, no one pressed them and we didn’t think they handled the ball that well. We thought everything would run through (Noga) and we wanted to take her out of the game. Matarazzo can light it up, but we did a good job on her. We wanted to press them so they wouldn’t slow it down, we wanted to keep it up-tempo.

“We worked on that the last three days because they like to screen and they like to have (Matarazzo) get through," Hahn said. "As soon as she slipped, we were in the passing lanes and we were ready to go.”

Neshannock (21-5) remaining steady through the remainder of the first half, but wouldn't be able to chip away into the Lady Crushers' lead in the remaining 16 minutes.

Following a Paras 3-pointer, Bishop McCort scored eight straight points as its lead ballooned to 14 points. A 16-3 run that spanned the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter was enough of a cushion to give the Lady Crushers a sizable advantage.

The Lady Lancers continually were on the wrong end of 50/50 balls and had issues keeping Bishop McCort off the offensive glass.

“They were getting a lot of rebounds because they were more aggressive, they were bigger and quicker," Grybowski said. "That’s what happens, you can’t make any excuses. Hats off to them, they’re a good team and they did a nice job.”

Added Hahn, “In the last few games, we didn’t get those 50/50 balls and we weren’t diving on the floor like we did tonight. That’s what wins championships, every loose ball. They just wanted it.”

Nightly Roundup
Mar 04, 2016 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 7 9 7 6 0 29
Bishop McCort 19 8 16 12 0 55
Box Scores
Stephanie Paras 3 0-0 8
Aidan Noga 0 0-0 0
Regan Moorhouse 1 0-0 2
Bella Burrelli 2 2-5 6
Ally Zarilla 1 0-0 2
Hannah Haswell 2 0-0 4
Carmie Matarazzo 3 0-0 7
Totals: 12 2-5 29

Machala Gibbons 0 1-2 1
Haley Thomas 7 8-14 22
Carly Hajjar 0 1-2 1
Tahlyn Miller 4 0-0 8
Morgan Instone 5 4-4 14
Aunna Yingling 3 3-4 9
Jazmine Thompson 0 0-0 0
Morgan Casto 0 0-0 0
Katie Downey 0 0-0 0
Ashley Delich 0 0-0 0
Sarah Bridges 0 0-0 0
Totals: 19 17-26 55

NESHANNOCK 7 9 7 6 — 29
BISHOP MCCORT 19 8 16 12 — 55

3-point goals — Neshannock 3 (Paras 2, Matarazzo 1).
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