Riverview rallies past Freeport to win title
By George Guido
Published: Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, 11:04 p.m.
It wasn't a nice homecoming for Freeport coach Paul Sylba. The former Riverview student, athlete and coach brought his Yellowjackets to Oakmont on Friday night for the girls finals of the Riverview Holiday Tournament.
The Raiders took the momentum late in the third quarter and produced a 38-31 victory over Freeport.
“I still live in the community; it's nice to come back,” Sylba said. “I didn't coach any of these girls, but I saw some of them play in junior high, and it's nice to see how they've developed as players. This was a well-played game.”
Freeport standout Jessica Aulicino picked up her fourth foul midway through the third quarter and left the lineup. At about the same time, Riverview (6-3) erased a five-point Yellowjackets lead.
The Raiders outscored Freeport, 12-5, in the fourth quarter despite some foul trouble of their own.
“It really hurts when Jessica's out of the game,” Sylba said. “She's our catalyst. We had a little glitch there when she left the game. When she's off the floor, the leadership's hard to replace.”
Aulicino fouled out with 4:31 left in the game after scoring 16 points to lead Freeport (4-4).
Riverview had three players with four fouls, forcing coach Keith Stitt to go deeper into the bench than he had planned.
Hannah Larkin, a junior varsity player who wasn't listed in the game program, scored with six seconds left in the third quarter to tie the game at 26-all. Icelandic exchange student Isabella Gudmundsdottir played some quality minutes, and Leah Sero scored a basket 21 seconds into the fourth quarter to give Riverview the lead for good.
Stitt praised his team's defensive effort.
“I thought our defense really picked things up, holding a good team like Freeport to just 14 points in the second half,” Stitt said. “We played a lot of triangle-and-two with Renee Ault and Erin Lauff. They're our two best defenders.”
Riverview received a scare when Bree Patsey suffered an ankle injury with 2:38 left in the first half. She returned, however, in the third quarter and led the Raiders with 13 points.
Patsey missed much of last year with an ACL injury.
“I think she's getting more and more confident,” Stitt said of Patsey. “She was a little tentative at first. You can just see the elevation in her game each week.”
Freeport had a 17-14 lead at halftime.
Freeport had several superb defensive plays in the fourth quarter, including forcing a five-second call, but the Yellowjackets couldn't convert.
Ault was tournament MVP, while Lauff, Aulicino and Macy Smolic of Freeport made the all-tournament team.
George Guido 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.
- A-K Valley PIAA girls basketball playoff preview capsules
- Thomas Jefferson, Central Valley prepare for rematch
- Greyhounds again in underdog role
- Serra Catholic’s PIAA path and foe familiar
- West Mifflin ponders late breakdowns in PIAA playoff loss
- Hampton, Luther prove too tall a task for Allderdice
- Charleroi’s Woytovich makes 5-AA first team
- Seton-La Salle basketball teams share WPIAL Class AA limelight
- Karns City unfazed despite lack of PIAA experience
- Greensburg Central Catholic boys roll past Bald Eagle in PIAA opener
- Ligonier Valley basketball is a team effort for Hepner family