Slagus, Butcher Shop slice through State Farm
The matchup pitting local basketball standouts Mia Woytovich and Kaitlyn Slagus in J. Budd Grebb League action Monday did not disappoint, even though turnovers and missed shots plagued much of the game.
Slagus, a junior forward from Belle Vernon Area, flirted with a triple-double (21 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks) guiding her undefeated Fredricktown Butcher Shop team to a 42-36 win over Tommy Thomas State Farm.
Charleroi Area's Woytovich scored a game-high 25 points, including four 3-pointers, for State Farm (1-2).
Despite being hounded for most of the game by physical Monessen forward Monet Wade, Slagus used her long reach and 6-foot-2 height to dominate near the rim.
Fredericktown used a strong inside game and balanced scoring to grab a 23-17 lead at halftime, as five different girls scored at least four points.
“They played a lot harder than we did in the first half, I'll tell you that,” Fredericktown coach Bill Greco said. “I was worried about the heat. I was trying to get our starters out of the game, but a lot of the time I'd take them out, they'd come back and tie it.”
Woytovich singlehandedly brought her team back in the second half, scoring three straight baskets to tie the game at 23-23. Her 3-pointer from the top of the key gave State Farm a brief lead, 28-27, at the 12:17 mark.
But Slagus quickly converted a lay-up and subsequent free throw to put Fredericktown back in the lead, 30-28.
“Monet did a nice job, she was physical, but we just couldn't get anybody to guard her that could match up with her size,” said State Farm coach Christina Chukwuedo, subbing for the vacationing Charel Allen.
With the teams knotted 36-36 with 3:52 remaining – the fifth tie score of the second half –, BVA's Bria Rathway converted two free throws, putting her team ahead to stay.
Tommy Thomas hurt its own cause, missing nearly a dozen shots and failing to garner a single point the rest of the game.
A layup and two free throws by Slagus pushed the lead to six with 1:30 to play. Woytovich twice had a chance to make it a one-possession game, but 3-point attempts on State Farm's final two possessions hit iron and bounced into Fredericktown hands.
“We did enough to win,” Greco said. “Nothing more.”
Bitonti's Barristers 52, Lagerheads 34
Leading by just two points at halftime, Bitonti's outscored Lagerheads in the second half, 28-12, to run away with the nightcap.
Bitonti's (2-1) helped its cause by making 12 of 16 second-half foul shots.
Phaedra DeWitt scored 18 points, including two 3-pointers, while California Area freshman Kylie Huffman notched a double-double (17 points and 19 rebounds) and Lindsay Huhn added 10 points.
For Lagerheads, Maris Seto of Brownsville was the lone double-digit scorer with 12 points.
Three new players were chosen in the league's first-ever supplemental draft Monday evening.
Bitonti's chose two players – senior DeWitt of Belle Vernon Area and Lindsay Huhn, a junior from Waynesburg. The pair ended up combining for 28 points in their first game action Monday.
Tommy Thomas picked up Caitlyn Szakal, a freshman for Belle Vernon Area.
Huhn had been out of action with a concussion and had just been medically cleared to play.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.