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Frazier girls finally beat Monessen

| Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 10:54 p.m.

It's been a while since the Frazier girls basketball team beat Monessen.

Long enough that neither Greyhounds coach Gina Naccarato nor Commodores coach Shara Zupanc can remember.

But Frazier accomplished the feat Thursday with a 56-50 win in the teams' Section 4-A opener.

Zupanc said Monday's win over Monessen was a signature one for her program.

“Last year, coming in, the district and probably the team never thought we'd be at the point we are now,” she said. “I just told them that how they handled the pressure, kept their composure and fought through adversity ... and just their sportsmanship and character, that's important to us at Frazier. I'm really proud of them tonight.”

The teams combined for 55 turnovers, and three Monessen players fouled out, including leading scorer Mariah Ward.

Ward led Monessen (0-7, 0-1) with a game-high 20 points.

“It's tough when Mariah's not in there,” Naccarato said. “With her out, someone else had to assert themselves. I was pleased at the end, though. We never hang our heads and never thought we didn't have a chance to win the game. The younger girls stepped up when they realized they had to score.”

Chelsea Szakal, who's coming off a nine-month absence because of a knee injury, scored six points in the fourth quarter for the Greyhounds. She finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

“She's getting there,” Naccarato said. “I think her mind is telling her to do things, and her body just can't do it yet. It's a matter of her getting back into basketball shape, which she will.”

The Commodores (4-3, 1-0) remained composed through numerous fouls and 33 of their turnovers. Their balanced offensive attack came via numerous layups after breaking Monessen's pressure. When they had problems breaking the Greyhounds' press late in the fourth quarter, they made 12 of 20 free throws.

Sophomore guard Cassidy Guiser led the way for the Lady Commodores with a team-high 13 points. Jamie Muccioli added 12 points, and junior Kaley Barota chipped in 12.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com.

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