Lady Leps, Slagus sisters too much for McGuffey to handle
Belle Vernon Area and McGuffey met in a battle of early season unbeaten girls' basketball teams Wednesday night.
While the Lady Highlanders came into the game with one of the highest-scoring players in the WPIAL in Sammie Weiss, the Lady Leps have a pretty good tandem of their own in sisters Jessica and Kaitlyn Slagus.
In the end, McGuffey didn't have an answer for the Slagus sisters.
Senior Jessica had 21 points and 20 rebounds while her sister, 6-2 sophomore Kaitlyn had a near triple-double with 9 points 10 rebounds and 8 blocks as they led the Lady Leps to a 69-57 non-section victory.
BVA (3-0) started the game out on an 8-0 en route to a 21-11 first quarter lead led by the Slagus sisters, who combined for 12 points and 9 rebounds.
The second quarter was much different with McGuffey (3-1) cutting the lead to three with a 12-5 run forcing the Lady Leps to call a time out at the 4:44 mark of the second quarter.
McGuffey's strong second quarter was led by Weiss' seven points. The McGuffey guard led all scorers for the night with 24 points.
The Lady Leps rebounded in the second half of the quarter and went into halftime leading, 41-32.
McGuffey came out strong again in the third opening the quarter with a 11-2 run once again lead by the strong play of Weiss.
McGuffey cut the deficit to just three points (49-46) at the end of the third quarter.
BVA went to Jessica Slagus early and often in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win. Slagus had nine points in the final period.
McGuffey began to play the foul game with 2:10 left in the game in hopes of pulling off a comeback. But it was to no avail as the hosts only missed one free throw in the final two minutes.
After the game BV Area Coach Lisa Fairman said, “McGuffey used the fast break to a comeback on us in the second quarter, but we made adjustments at halftime to their fast breaking.”
Fairman also praised the play of the 6-1 Jessica Slagus, who is averaging just under 22 points per game on the season. Fairman said her scoring in the post forced McGuffey to double-team which opened up opportunities for her other teammates.
“McGuffey's guards run the floor real well and they tried to pack it in on us on defense, but our forwards worked really hard,” Fairman said. “Jessica had 21 points, but we had like four other girls in the 8-to-11 point area, which is really good. Over all, I was pleased with our performance.”
Natalie Bashada joined Slagus in double figures with 11 points.
Backing McGuffey's Weiss, whose effort included seven rebounds and four assists, were Rachel Czulewicz with 17 points and teammate Abby Pattison with 11.
“McGuffey's got a nice team and this was a good test for us going into the section,” Fairman added.
The Lady Leps start play in Section 4 AAA tonight at home against Ringgold (0-2) at 7:30 p.m. while McGuffey travels Burgettstown Monday.
Bob Zynosky is a freelance writer.