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Lady Colts power their way through Bethel Park Tournament

| Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Chartiers Valley's Alexa Golden. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Chartiers Valley's Kassidy O'Keefe. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

The Chartiers Valley girls basketball team had a slow start against Penn Hills in the Bethel Park Tournament last week.

After building up an 11-point lead in the first quarter, Chartiers Valley stuttered in the second frame and allowed the Lady Indians to pull within single digits before finishing the half on a 9-0 run to head into halftime up 26-10.

Coach Spencer Stefko blamed the slow start on his being outcoached for the slow start.

“The PIAA requires that kids get a day off every week,” Stefko said. “And the kids thought it was our day off. They got word today was the day off and I had to remind them that wasn't the case. That first half was on me. (Penn Hills) was ready to go and my team wasn't.”

Chartiers Valley was able to finish the game strong for a 56-34 win over the Lady Indians.

The Lady Colts built up a 15-4 lead in the first quarter but struggled early in the second frame, allowing Penn Hills to pull within seven. Alexa Golden broke the cold spell with a jump shot three minutes into the quarter to push the score to 17-8.

The Lady Colts ended the second period with a 9-0 run over the final four minutes to head into halftime up 26-10.

Chartiers Valley clamped down in the third quarter as Kristina Coyne connected on a layup and Jenna Devinney nailed a 3-pointer to go up 31-10.

The Lady Colts outscored Penn Hills, 19-5, in the third frame to carry a 30-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Wells led the team with 11 points. Kristin McGeough added eight. Golden recorded seven. Kristina Coyne and Kassidy O'Keefe both finished with six points.

Chartiers Valley went 2-0 at the tournament, as it defeated Butler, 45-34, on night one. The Lady Colts defense held the Golden Tornadoes to a single point in the second quarter and used the 22-9 halftime lead to coast to victory.

Golden led the team against Butler with 17 points. O'Keefe added 15.

The wins were the first two games back in western Pennsylvania for the Lady Colts. The squad traveled to Orlando and participated in the KSA Holiday Tournament Dec. 20 to 22.

The Lady Colts defeated Illinois' Proviso West, 63-46, before falling to eastern Pennsylvania's Spring-Ford, 43-37, and Florida's Colonial, 51-42.

“It was a learning experience,” Stefko said. “I have been doing this awhile and I have never been in a tournament that strong. We beat a good team and lost to two good teams. I didn't feel any shame losing to the teams we did.

“We had some stuff to learn and I will tell you in about two weeks if we learned it.”

Chartiers Valley's schedule coming into the new year will show where it stands. After facing a 3-6 Peters Township squad, the Lady Colts will face an 8-1 Bethel Park team and a 6-1 Mt. Lebanon squad – the only other undefeated teams in Section 4-AAAA action.

Stefko said he feels his squad is in a good place entering the meat of the schedule as they prepare to face some of the top squads in Class AAAA.

“I certainly think we are in a good place basketball-wise,” Stefko said. “I think we are in a good place mentally. I think it is time to go see where we stand.”

The Lady Colts return to action tomorrow, Friday, as they host Peters Township. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at nsmith@tribweb.com or 412-388-5813.

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