Warriors are 5-0 for first time in eight years
By Matt Grubba
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 8:50 p.m.
As Christmas day approaches, Penn-Trafford's girls basketball players are playing the role of Scrooge when defending their basket.
The Warriors are 5-0 for the first time since 2004-05, and a big reason why has been a defense that has allowed no more than 44 points in a single game.
Penn-Trafford's most recent win, a 65-17 blowout at struggling Connellsville, improved the team to 2-0 in the section, but that game isn't the ideal indicator of the level the team is at, according to its coach.
“We're like any other team right now. There's a lot of things we can still work on to get where we want to get at the end of the year,” Penn-Trafford coach John Giannikas said. “These kids are smart, and they know there's room for improvement.”
Maria Palarino led P-T with 17 points, and Maddie Mossellem scored 14 against Connellsville, but the game was another rout like last week's 85-21 section win over Laurel Highlands.
Instead of those games, it's wins such as Penn-Trafford's 49-37 win over Gateway on Dec. 11 that are the real measuring stick for a team with its sights set on a berth in the state tournament.
“Playing those teams, like Shaler (on Dec. 8) and Gateway, those are the types of games we talk about needed to win,” Giannikas said. “Both of those teams slowed the game down more, but we still played good defense. It was a grind-it-out-and-execute kind of game.”
Casey Aunkst had a game-high 13 points, and Taylor Cortazzo added 12 in the win against the Gators, who trailed P-T at half, 21-12.
That sort of defensive performance is what Giannikas and his players seek, and they will try to do it against some more top nonsection opponents, such as when they head to North Allegheny's Christmas Tournament on Dec. 27 and 28. There, P-T will open against North Catholic at 1:30 p.m. on the first day and face either North Allegheny or Plum on the second day.
“We tried to beef the schedule up this year,” Giannikas said. “Opening (the tournament) with North Catholic, we'll be going against a girl that's a Division I guard, so hopefully we have some success there.”
Before getting ahead to that point, the Warriors have a section test Thursday at home against Kiski Area at 7:30 p.m. The Cavaliers have struggled so far this year, but with star forward Maddie Antone on the court, Kiski Area is a team capable of scoring.
“Kiski is always a tough game when we play them, and I expect it to be the same this Thursday,” Giannikas said. “Being 5-0 is nice, but we still have work to do. That's what's great about these girls; they know it. They're humble but very confident.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Burrell sophomore forward saves season
- Miscues cost Karns City girls in PIAA playoff loss
- Monessen victimized by Bishop Carroll’s 22-0 run in 2nd half
- Central Valley battles past TJ
- Farrell uses OT run to down Uniontown
- PIAA boys basketball roundup: Farrell takes down Uniontown in Class AAA
- Hempfield girls harass way to win over Fox Chapel
- Vincentian boys win, sets up showdown with Lincoln Park
- Mt. Pleasant girls hope lessons learned pay dividends in rematch with EF
- Seton-La Salle again ends GCC’s season in PIAA tournament
- PIAA girls basketball roundup: Seton-La Salle again ousts Greensburg C.C.