Share This Page

Serra girls cruise to another Section 4-A victory

| Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 11:20 p.m.
Serra Catholic's Leslie Hoye drives to towards the hoop between Frazier's Cassidy Guiser (2) and Jamie Muccioli in game action on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at Serra Catholic High School. Ronald Vezzani/Daily News

For a coach whose team just won its 11th consecutive game, Serra Catholic girls basketball coach Bill Cleary had a noticeable level of concern on his face.

Serra just finished the first half of the Section 4-A season a perfect 5-0 after a 64-24 victory over visiting Frazier.

It's been something that's become all too familiar for Cleary. Basically, it's been too easy for the Lady Eagles, and the veteran coach with 512 wins, four WPIAL titles and a state championship on his resume knows it.

“Yeah, I am worried,” said Cleary, whose team is beating section opponents by an average of 45 points per game. “Our December was tough, but now …”

Well, now it's been game after game of blowout wins, a streak that might not stop over the final month of the season.

Serra has eight games left but only one against a team with a winning record; the Lady Eagles travel to Class AAA Belle Vernon (9-4) Tuesday for a nonsection game.

Other than that, Serra's remaining schedule is against teams with a combined 28-64 record.

“We really never had to deal with something like this much,” Cleary said. “But we play against the schedule that we have. That's just what we have to do.”

So Cleary looks to execution as a sign of how his team is performing, and if Thursday was any indication, the Lady Eagles are doing just fine.

Serra (12-1, 5-0) opened the game on a 19-0 run and was never threatened by the section's second-place team. Serra held Frazier to 12 points in the first half and forced 35 turnovers — 11 of which came during that 19-0 run.

“We try to look for execution,” Cleary said. “We didn't shoot the ball well in the first half but tried to keep up with our defensive pressure, and that's what we did. We have been forcing a lot of turnovers this year and today was no different.”

Serra's offense came around as well.

Leslie Hoye scored a game-high 14 points, and Nicole Pero added 11 points, 10 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots as nine different Serra players scored. Megan Sieg added nine and Brooke McCallister eight.

Frazier (7-7, 3-2) got nine points and 10 rebounds from Cassidy Guiser.

Leading 29-10, Serra quickly put the game away in the third quarter.

Hoye hit a shot followed by Sieg's basket to make it 33-12. After Guiser made it 33-14, Pero put back a shot, and a three-point play by Sieg pushed Serra's lead to 38-14.

“Our ball movement was far better in the half court in the second half,” Cleary said. “Frazier did a good job of choking off our transition game. They made use hustle all night.”

Serra might not play the best of opponents heading down the stretch, but the Lady Eagles will have a challenge with six of their final eight games on the road, including tough venues such as Clairton and Monessen.

“Those places aren't easy to play at, so that will be a challenge,” Cleary said. “But what we have to do is continue to get better, and I believe that's what we will do.”

Serra travels to Northgate (1-14) Monday for a nonsection game.

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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.