South Fayette girls basketball experiencing a youth movement
TribLIVE Sports Videos
While the South Fayette girls basketball team has been working on its defense and improving its shots, coach Matt Bacco said his staff has been learning a lesson in patience.
The Lady Lions are seeing a youth movement as they have used a combination of five sophomores and freshmen during the 2011-12 season.
“With them being so young, they are adjusting to the speed of the varity game and trying to understand our system completely,” Bacco said. “I have had to bite my lip with mistakes they have made from time to time. More often than not they have had the tendency to make a mistake, shake it off and turn it into a positive on the next play.”
One of South Fayette's biggest weapons this season had been Emily Anderson. The 6-foot-2 freshman is a dominating presence on the defensive end of the court with her ability to block shots and grab rebounds.
“I know its cliche but she is getting better with every game,” Bacco said. “For a freshman starting to figure out how to play varsity basketball, you can see the improvement. The trick for her is to stay disciplined on defense and stay out of foul trouble. When she is on the floor for us, it makes a big difference.”
Anderson is not the only freshman cracking the rotation as guards Mikayla Fetchet and Autumn Mozick have both seen time on the court.
Sophomores Min Wells and Lauren Crites are also significant parts of the South Fayette rotation. Wells is just returning from a concussion but her presence was felt last week in the Lady Lions' 46-35 win over Montour.
The first half was plagued by foul calls. Neither team seemed to be able to find a rhythm with the constant stoppage of play as the teams combined for nearly 20 fouls in the first half.
The large number of fouls threw South Fayette's rotation off, leading to several lineups that have not seen time on the court together this season.
“I don't know if I have ever seen that many fouls called in the first quarter,” Bacco said. “I don't think either defense was undisciplined or particularly physical. Both teams were in foul trouble from the start.”
Despite the foul-filled start, the South Fayette defense look strong in the first quarter, holding the Lady Spartans to a single point. The Lady Lions carried a 28-17 lead into halftime.
South Fayette's offense sputtered in the third quarter, recording only three points. The lack of production allowed Montour to pull within six points heading into the final frame.
The Lady Spartans cut the score to 31-29 early in the fourth quarter before Wells connected on a 3-pointer to give her squad some breathing room. The shot seemed to rejuvenate the offense as it outscored Montour 12-6 the rest of the way. Senior Kristen Hardt accounted for five of the Lady Lions' points during the run.
“It really felt like there was a lid on the basket the entire third quarter and a lot of the fourth,” Bacco said. “We couldn't make easy shots or free throws. (Wells) took the lid off the basket with that big three and that was the difference in the game.”
Senior Shannon Gillespie led the team with 12 points. Hardt finished with 11.
The win over Montour pushed South Fayette's record to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in Section 5-AAA play. South Park is dominating the section with a 6-0 mark but it is wide open after the Lady Eagles.
South Fayette is currently tied for second-place with Quaker Valley and Moon with 3-2 records. Keystone Oaks is close behind with a 2-3 mark.
“We look at the schedule and in scouting teams, we don't see a lot of disparity between a lot of the teams,” Bacco said. “It is going to come down to the fourth quarter of games and who can execute.”
The Lady Lions travel to South Park tonight, Thursday, for a 7:30 tipoff.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5813.
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.
- Thomas Jefferson girls bring hard-nosed play, intangibles to the court
- Wildcats return their core
- Mt. Pleasant girls basketball coach eager to start season with versatile team
- Kittanning boys basketball shoots for 4th straight playoff trip in program’s final season
- Class AAAA boys basketball preview: After 1st playoff win since 2003, Hempfield boys hope to advance in postseason
- Thomas Jefferson boys basketball team has high expectations
- After struggling in Class AA, Serra boys basketball welcomes move down in classification
- Class AAAA girls basketball preview: Penn-Trafford welcomes doubters as it begins WPIAL title defense
- Kiski Area boys ready for encore
- High school notebook: Apollo-Ridge’s Tipton named conference dual-award winner
- Gateway girls again the hunters in section race