Peters Township shocks Shaler in playoffs

| Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010

The stunned looks are now starting to come from Peters Township's opponents.

Emily Matthis scored 5 of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, and Merissa Morgan hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final 22 seconds, leading No. 12 Peters Township to a 49-48 upset of No. 4 Shaler in a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal Friday night at West Allegheny.

Peters Township upset No. 5 seed Oakland Catholic in the first round and now plays top-seeded Mt. Lebanon in Tuesday's semifinals.

The Indians, however, seem to be perfectly content with playing as the underdog.

"It's fun," Matthis said. "No one expects anything out of you."

Indians coach Kyra Kaylor admitted her players had moments last night, as they have all season, where they looked stunned. After all, Shaler (18-5) started the game on a 15-3 run and led by as many as 14 midway through the third quarter.

But the Indians (13-11) outscored the Titans, 29-14, from that point behind Matthis' aggressive offensive play and Morgan's clutch free throws.

"The thing about our girls is that (being down) doesn't phase them," Kaylor said. "They push through, and they work hard. No matter how many we're down, I don't have a worry that we can come back, and we did it tonight."

Hillary Sauer led Shaler with 12 points. Valerie McQuade added 11, and Shannon Powell scored 10. But the Titans also committed 23 turnovers, made just 3 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter, and were down by four when Cate Potter's long 3-pointer banked in with 2.6 seconds left.

Lindsey Pisarcik scored 10 points for the Indians, and Ellie Hanlon led all scorers with 16 points. Hanlon, though, fouled out with 4:54 remaining, when Peters Township trailed by four.

By then, however, the Indians had figured out how to get around Shaler center Shannon Powell, a 6-foot-1 junior who tallied five first-half blocks. The answer, actually, came from what the Titans were doing.

"They were driving on us, and they were getting the calls," Kaylor said. "We went in there strong and actually attacked (Powell), and good things happened."

Peters Township never led until Matthis hit 1 of 2 free throws with 55.2 seconds remaining in the game. Then, Matthis blocked Sauer on the ensuing possession, and Morgan, a sophomore, sealed the game with free throws.

"If I had anyone to put on the line at the end of the game, it would be (Morgan)," Kaylor said.

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