Neshannock girls roll past Charleroi
Neshannock (59) Vs. Charleroi (33)
Feb 20, 2010
By JOE SAGER
IMPERIAL — The Neshannock High girls basketball team shifted into reverse and hit the gas Saturday.
The Lady Lancers used a dominant showing Saturday to roll past Charleroi, 59-33, in WPIAL Class AA preliminary-round playoff game at West Allegheny High School.
The impressive showing erased Neshannock’s three-game losing streak to cap the regular season. That skid cost the Lady Lancers second place in Section 2-AA and hurt their playoff seeding. However, they overwhelmed the Lady Cougars with a balanced attack Saturday.
Three different Neshannock players reached double digits in scoring — led by Ashlee Patton’s 16 points — and the locals owned the glass with a 34-25 rebounding advantage.
“The balance was the beauty of the win and I have been waiting all year for it to happen. I think they are just finally understanding each of their roles and what they need to do,” said Neshannock coach Luann Grybowski, who notched her first playoff win at the Lady Lancers’ helm. “It was the epitome of a team effort.”
Neshannock (13-8) moves on to face Seton-La Salle (17-5) at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at Moon High in a first-round contest.
“It’s always great to move on. There are some really good teams in Class AA. I think that, if we play our game, we can play with them,” Grybowski said. “Seton-La Salle has a very good program. I saw them play this summer. They played New Castle this year, so I already have a tape on them in hand. Preparing for this game, I already looked at it. They are very good. For us, it’s going to take a perfect game to beat them. It’s going to have to be a repeat effort from everybody.”
The Lady Lancers’ effort impressed Charleroi coach Nick Mahalko.
“They just played a fantastic game,” he said.
Neshannock posted a 10-8 lead after the first quarter, but really excelled in the second. Patton scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the frame and Ericka Warvell added 10 more as the Lady Lancers took a 30-19 halftime lead.
Grybowski’s troops held a 41-29 edge after three quarters and dominated defensively in the fourth as they allowed only two points to earn the blowout win.
“We tried to mix it up a little bit defensively,” Grybowski said. “We started in man, but I wasn’t sure we could keep (Chaniece Tarpley) at bay because I knew she penetrated very well. (Shannon Flament) is a good player and so is (Morgan Iacovino), so we went triangle-and-2 a little bit and then we went 3-2 matchup for a bit and then just a straight 3-2 zone. We just tried to mix it up and keep them off balance and hope they weren’t hitting the outside shot and they weren’t.”
Patton added seven rebounds to her 16 points, while Warvell had seven boards as well. Chelsea Kauffman, hampered by a broken rib, had a strong effort with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Caitlin Binder played a strong game with 10 assists, five rebounds, four points and three steals.
“Chelsea feels a little better — not back to 100 percent yet — but that is a key. Their coach said to me that they hadn’t played against any guard that could penetrate like Chelsea. They put their best defender on her and she just went by her,” Grybowski said. “Caitlin Binder — I can’t say enough about the way she played, penetrating and making things happen. Ashlee Patton made things happen on the other end, too.”