Burns paces Hempfield past Connellsville
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Because of a school dance, Connellsville's girls basketball game Wednesday night at Hempfield was moved to the school's old gymnasium.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, the host Spartans felt right at home — delivering a run-away, 66-31, Section 1-AAAA victory.
Hempfield (4-0) used a merciless press, forcing Connellsville (1-3) to commit 13 turnovers and rushed out to a 17-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Spartans ended the half with a commanding 32-13 advantage and the game was never in doubt.
Offensively, Hempfield gave the Falcons fits with its quick-tempo style.
The Spartans received a dazzling performance from junior guard Monica Burns, who finished with a game-high 23 points and was also the catalyst of an aggressive, suffocating defensive scheme.
“We knew coming in Burns was an incredible player,” first-year Falcons coach Shawna Little said. “They are a great team and have a lot of players contributing, but she is a real difference-maker out there.”
The Falcons repeatedly had trouble breaking the Spartans' press, which led to many quick scores for Hempfield.
Connellsville, with just one senior on its roster, had a difficult time keeping pace with the more-experienced Spartans on both ends of the floor. The Falcons weren't, however, lacking effort.
“We are a very, very young team,” Little said. “Offensively, we just aren't there yet. There is a very good mix of young players, but we just, right now, don't have that go-to scorer. We're a few classes behind right now (depth-wise).”
Junior guard Ashton Grimm finished with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting to lead the Falcons. Connellsville hit just 9 of 33 shots and couldn't get any to fall in the opening eight minutes.
The Spartans came out after the break with a hot shooting hand, adding 24 points in the third quarter.
“We have to get better focus,” Little said. “I love the effort the girls gave tonight. It's tough when you get down like that, but I told the girls at halftime we had 16 minutes left and we had to make the most of them.”
Little is confident her team will take a lot away from its defeat.
“We don't have players who have played in big games against big teams before,” she said. “This was a great experience for the team tonight, and we'll take a lot out of it. We just need to continue to work on the offensive end and keep improving each game. We got a lot of valuable minutes tonight.”
Brian Hunger is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Leechburg girls set out to build on breakout season
- Mt. Pleasant girls basketball to rely on experience
- Leechburg boys set to go up-tempo
- Hempfield boys take aim at 5th straight section title
- Greensburg Salem boys hope to build on trip to WPIAL postseason
- TJ girls basketball to feature 10 enthusiastic underclassmen
- New Highlands girls basketball coach ready to run
- Knoch basketball team gets reinforcements
- New girls’ coaches trying to put in their systems
- WPIAL AAAA boys basketball preview: Runners-up last season, North Allegheny hopes to take next step
- Serra girls expecting repeat success