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Lady Jays remain atop section

| Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 9:18 p.m.
Brittaney Williams works the the ball up the middle during a Jeannette victory against Riverview.
Ciara Gregroy, a senior for the Lady Jays, scores on a layup in a game against Riverview this season. PHOTOS:John Howard | The Jeannette Spirit

Jeannette girls basketball just isn't built to play in tournaments of almost any kind and that was emphasized last week when the Jayhawks dropped two games in two days to two Class-AAA teams at the Laurel Highlands Holiday Tournament.

Already a bit shorthanded by nagging injuries that have shortened their bench, Jeannette was taken apart by Uniontown last Thursday, 85-56. The Jayhawks played much better the following night, but still dropped a game to Albert Gallatin, 55-54.

Jeannette head coach LuAnn Mills was very direct earlier in the season when discussing the types of tournaments that require games to be played on consecutive nights.

“We aren't the type of team that can play on back-to-back nights,” said Mills. “We just run out of gas in that second game.”

The tournament losses are meaningless in the section standings, but they affect Jeannette's overall record, which fell to 5-3 following the two tournament losses. Jeannette sits atop the Section 3 standings with a 3-0 mark. Greensburg Central Catholic shares first place at 2-0 in the section. GCC is 7-2 overall.

Holiday tournaments mark a turning point in most high school basketball seasons — the point at which teams move from the early part of the season where they develop an identity to the meat of the section schedule where post-season expectations are established. Jeannette has forged an identity as a group of hard workers who will compete. They have also proven themselves very worthy of their spot atop their section. The challenge now is to string together section wins to position themselves for a playoff run. Jeannette will start that run tonight on their home floor when they face East Allegheny in the first of nine section games between now and the end of the season. The Jayhawks will travel to Shady Side Academy next Thursday before facing GCC at home on Jan. 14.

WPIAL Class-AA, Section 3

Jeannette (3-0) (5-3)

GCC (2-0) (7-2)

Shady Side (2-1) (4-6)

Springdale (1-1) (4-5)

Riverview (1-2) (6-3)

East Allegheny (0-2) (1-7)

South Allegheny (0-3) (3-6)

Dave Moio is a freelance writer.