Burrell breezes to Section 1-AA victory over Deer Lakes
Burrell girls basketball coach Meghan Ziemianski said her team made “bitty ball” mistakes early in Monday night's Section 1-AA first-place showdown against visiting Deer Lakes, referring to the school's youth program.
Burrell may be young, with only one senior, but it played with a been-there-done-that calmness that carried it to a statement victory.
OK, call it a big-girl win.
Sophomore Sydney Bordonaro scored a game-high 20 points, and freshman Taylor Myers added 15 points, 11 rebounds and five steals as No. 4-ranked Burrell pulled away for a 47-32 win over No. 3 Deer Lakes.
Double-digit scoring runs to open the third and fourth quarters gave Burrell control, and, ultimately, sole possession of first place.
“We learned a lot from last year, and I think we're more mature and experienced,” Bordonaro said. “We know we have to grow up and be leaders.”
Using a size advantage and physical defensive pressure, Burrell (9-1, 5-0) broke Deer Lakes' 12-game section winning streak and snapped a six-game losing skid against the Lancers (11-2, 4-1).
Burrell, which came into the game allowing a WPIAL-low 24.2 points per game, held Deer Lakes to four points in the third quarter, opening the period with a 12-0 run. Deer Lakes didn't score until the 30-second mark of the third.
The teams were deadlocked, 19-19, at halftime, with Bordonaro hitting a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in the second to tie it.
“We didn't play like we can in the first half,” Ziemianski said. “There were too many bitty-ball turnovers. In the second half, we just said, ‘ball up,' and that's what the girls did.”
Deer Lakes struggled from the perimeter, unable to answer Burrell runs and hoisting sometimes-rushed shots, particularly from 3-point range. The Lancers had a tough time getting uncontested shots.
“In order to have success with an outside game, you have to have an inside game and we don't have one,” Deer Lakes coach Dana Petruska said. “That's all you can do when teams sag like that.”
Kelsey Oddis made a pair of free throws to give the Bucs a 12-point advantage late in the third, but Deer Lakes senior guard Becca Babincak hit back-to-back shots to make it 31-23 heading to the fourth.
Babincak nearly kept the run going by making both free throws on a one-and-one opportunity when she appeared to score on a second-chance hoop after having a shot blocked. But she was called for a questionable charge, and Deer Lakes didn't score for the next five minutes.
Babincak scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in the second half.
“We went cold in that quarter,” Petruska said. “If we make a few more shots in the third, it might be a different game.”
An 11-0 spurt to start the fourth pushed the lead to 42-23 with 3:30 left. The 5-foot-11 Myers scored five straight points, and Bordonaro hit a 3-pointer and converted an unconventional 3-point play.
Two more Oddis free throws made it 47-27 with 36.7 seconds remaining.
“This is one of those wins that will help us get over the hump in our section,” Ziemianski said. “I think we're going to have a lot more confidence after this.”
Babincak scored the final five points for the Lancers.
“I commend our kids; they didn't give up,” Petruska said.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.