Shaler girls beat Woodland Hills
With the first half of section play in the books, the Lady Titans sat at 1-6 with six section games left to finish the season.
The good news for Shaler is the Lady Titans won three of the last four games (the one loss was to an 11-4 Plum team), and one of those wins was a section win against Pine-Richland.
Looking to build off that momentum, Shaler played a nonsection game against Woodland Hills. Shaler used a balanced attack that saw all five starters score at least 6 points en route to a 41-33 win.
“I am happy with how the kids battle,” Shaler coach Neal Martin said. “Many teams at 7-9 would mail it in. I don't see that in this group, and I can't ask for anything more.”
Against Woodland Hills, Shaler used a balanced offensive strategy and an aggressive defense to maintain a small advantage the whole game.
Shaler started the game with three 3-pointers by three players. Carly Harris, Courtney Bauer and Paige Quinn helped Shaler open an 11-4 lead, and despite Woodland Hills tying the score late, Shaler controlled the tempo much of the evening.
With Liz Kline and Quinn each scoring nine points, Harris adding eight and Bauer and Andi Lydon each scoring six, Woodland Hills never knew who was going to take the shot.
“We share the ball well,” Martin said. “There are moments we need someone, nobody in particular, but someone to step up.”
Balance is great, but Martin was the most happy with his defense.
“This is a gritty bunch who will dig in and I love that,” Martin said. “That is what keeps us in games.”
Two years removed from a WPIAL championship, Shaler is a relatively young team.
Bauer, who was a sophomore on that championship team and played a larger role last season, shares her experience with her developing teammates.
“When we won the WPIAL championship, I didn't play at all in the game,” she said. “But everyone matters, and everyone can contribute and push in practice and be a leader.
“(This year), I am a passer, shooter and driver, whatever ... Carly is our main point guard, we all have our role. I know mine, and every girl on the team knows theirs. That is why we all scored about the same.”
Bauer agreed with Martin that the team's strength is its defense, and the coach said he is proud of his team.
“They are taking the steps necessary to be able to finish basketball games,” Martin said. “We have young kids and inexperienced kids, and we are teaching them how to win games.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.