ShareThis Page

Greensburg Salem staves off Mt. Pleasant rally

| Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, 11:52 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant's Jordan Toohey pressures Greensburg Salem's Claire Oberdorf during Monday's game. (Lori Padilla  |  For the Daily Courier)
Mt. Pleasant's Jordan Toohey pressures Greensburg Salem's Claire Oberdorf during Monday's game. (Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier)

The Greensburg Salem girls basketball team spent most of Monday's game against Mt. Pleasant trying to protect a lead. And when that lead evaporated and the Golden Lions fell behind in the fourth quarter, they had enough in the tank to mount a late rally and pull off a 46-43 Section 3-AAA win over the host Vikings.

Trailing, 41-35, late in the fourth quarter, the Golden Lions, keyed by Claire Oberdorf, closed the game with an 11-2 run.

“It was two good teams playing, and I'm sure it will be like that when we meet the next time,” Greensburg Salem coach Janine Vertacnik said. “I thought we controlled the first half, but they got that momentum going, and they outrebounded us pretty good. They were hungry, and we got down, but we just refused to lose.”

The Golden Lions (7-3, 4-0) started strong, building a 7-0 lead that became a 28-20 lead at the half. Karly Mellinger scored all 10 of her points in the first half for Greensburg Salem.

Mt. Pleasant stayed in the game early with some clutch 3-pointers by Elaina Fearer and Alexa Szelong, as well as some baskets in the paint by Jena Szelong. Fearer led the Vikings (6-5, 2-2) with 11 points. Alexa Szelong and Jena Szelong each posted 10 points.

Mt. Pleasant didn't help itself by finishing just 8 of 20 from the free-throw line, including an 0-for-7 slump in the first half.

“Foul shooting was a big part of the game, and it made a difference,” Mt. Pleasant coach Scott Giacobbi said.

But even though they struggled at the line, the Vikings managed to claw back with a big third quarter, outscoring Greensburg Salem, 13-5, to send the game into the fourth tied, 33-33.

“We did a great defensive job, and we forced them into taking shots they didn't want to take,” Giacobbi said.

However, the Vikings had several players in foul trouble, and it limited their defensive aggressiveness late in the game.

“We softened up and had girls worried about fouls,” Giacobbi said.

Greensburg Salem was held to just five baskets in the second half, but Claire Oberdorf stepped up with three big buckets in the closing minutes to help the Golden Lions tie the game. Claire Oberdorf finished with a game-high 18 points.

“She's quick, and she has great guard instincts,” Vertacnik said. “Her intensity is tough to match.”

With the game tied, Taylor Mehan hit two free-throws to push the Golden Lions back out in front for good as Greensburg Salem forced a turnover in the closing minute.

“Taylor averages three points per game, but those two foul shots were critical,” Vertacnik said.

Jayne Oberdorf, who also had a strong game with 13 points, sealed the win for the Golden Lions by hitting several free-throws in the closing seconds.

For the Vikings, rallying to take the lead only to lose it late was painful, but Giacobbi is seeing some good things from his team.

“We're coming together,” Giacobbi said. “I think some of the gaps in our play is based on role playing and team chemistry. We just need to eliminate the mental mistakes.”

As for the Golden Lions, it was a huge step toward accomplishing one of their goals for the regular season.

“We want this section bad,” Vertacnik said.

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.